When anarchy reigns, the sadistic thrive – The Kite Runner


This is a great introduction to the novel.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, uses Afghanistan’s revered pastime to transport the reader to the romantic side of Kabul—a stark contrast to the horrors of the Taliban.

Blows of brutality for many readers, the most engaging part of Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner is the poignant, detailed descriptions of exotic Afghanistan. Amir’s early memories of the outskirts of Kabul offer fascinating snapshots of life in this amazing part of the world. We read of the annual buzkashi in which highly skilled horsemen collect a carcass at full speed and attempt to deposit the dead sheep or goat in a ‘‘scoring circle’’ while the opposition does everything in its power to stop him.

We discover ancient Persian literature, the Shahnamah, and the classic Afghan poets from Amir’s school days. But of course, the kite running that inspired the book’s title grasps our imagination the most.A national sport in Afghanistan, kite running is revered by children and adults alike. The rich description and colours that fill the winter’s sky transport us into Kabul’s romantic world: ‘‘red, blue, and yellow kites glided and spun in the sky’’.

But not all is well with young Amir and his Hazara servant, Hassan. Much is made of Amir’s obsession with gaining his father’s approval and love. Coupled with the young boy’s feeble attempts at sport and his love of literature rather than traditional machismo behaviour, Baba’s barely concealed contempt for his son leaves the young boy desperate to win respect.

Read the rest here.


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