Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Name: Khaled Hosseini
Date and place of birth: 1965, Kabul in Afghanistan
Other books: ‘A thousand splendid suns' (2007)
Year of publication: 2002
Number of pages: 340
Theme of the book: Loyalty, friendship, differences in race and the relationship between father and son. When is the story set?: Kabul, Afghanistan and California, America, in the 19thcentury.
Stand up for yourself otherwise you can't stand up for anything
The difference in race, friendship and the relation between father and son are important elements in this book.
Amir, a Pashtuns boy and Hassan, a Hazara boy, from Kabul, Afghanistan are best friends.
Amir gets little respect from his father. He enjoys a good live but his best friend is from another race, this causes many speculation in the neighbourhood. However Amir and Hassan are both good Kite Runners and with this talent Amir gets loyalty and respect from his father. But is this loyalty and respect obtained in an honest and pure manner?
Baba, the father of Amir, was a proud man but he was not so proud of his son Amir. Amir hears his father say that he doesn't understand Amir, when he sees how children push him around, take his toys from him, give hive a shove here and a whack there. ‘And you know, he never fights back'. ‘A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up for anything'. And - ‘If I hadn't seen the doctor pull him out of my wife with my own eyes, I'd never believe he's my son'.
Amir feels sad about the thoughts of his father about him.
He wants to make his father proud. So he wants to be the best Kite Runner in Afghanistan. Kites are a popular activity and that is the only interests that he shares with his father. Together with Hassan he wants to win the Kite Runner Competition.
Hassan was the greatest kite runner. Kite runners run after kites after their strings are cut, chasing them until they land. They ran after the kite, and the last cut kite is the important one. Assef, a neighbourhood bully went after Hassan. But Hassan didn't want to give the kite to Assef. On that moment he was raped by Assef and his friends. Amir goes after Hassan and sees everything, but doesn't do anything. He was afraid of getting hurt. ‘I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? .. He was just a Hazara, wasn't he?'
Later he meets Hassan and pretends he doesn't know what happened. Hassan gives Amir the kite. Amir gives the kite to Baba, who is proud of Amir. Finally his father is proud of him. But was it the right way to get his loyalty from his father back?
Amir feels guilty and thinks that it is better when Hassan and Ali, father of Hassan, leave. He says that Hassan has stolen his watch. When Baba, confronted Hassan , he admitted he had stolen the watch. Amir knew well that Hassan knew everything , he knew that Amir had seen everything in that alley, that he stood there and did not do anything. Amir felt like a liar, a cheater and a thief. But on the other hand he feels glad when they went away. But Baba says: 'I forgive you'. Amir found that strange and he thought if Baba could forgive that, then why couldn't he forgive Amir for not being the son he'd always wanted to have? But Ali and Hassan decided to go.
To sum up, in this book you can read about the differences in race and a son who wants loyalty from his father. I can certainly recommend this book because it is a beautiful book but sometimes difficult to read. Some sentences in this book have a good moral point of view. 'When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth'. So you have to be faithful to everybody but more important, be faithful to yourself.