Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Kite Runner

My daughters often ask me to recommend books for them to read. That’s something that I enjoy very much. So much so that I would volunteer recommendations without being asked. But lately they have started to give me recommendations, which I also enjoy. The Kite Runner was one of those.

The Kite Runner did not disappoint. In fact, I am glad I read it. I learned a lot from it. About Afghanistan. About sufferings. About human beings - the ugly side, mostly.

The story was about the complex relationships between two boys, Amir and Hassan, his loyal friend and servant. Amir wanted to win in a kite-flying competition, and Hassan was going to do all he could to help him win. That led to an ugly event which scarred them both, and they could not be friends anymore.

Many years after fleeing the Russian invasion, Amir returned to Afghanistan for redemption. Throughout the story, I read of the suffering of the Afghanistan people under the Russian invasion, the continuous civil wars, the Taliban.

It was not really what I would call an enjoyable reading experience. You could not help but be touched by the human drama, and the suffering. But there were just too much of the dark side of human beings. Through out most of the book, I found myself anticipating and dreading the calamity that I knew was going to happen. There was a glimmer of hope, but I would like to see more of it.

I would still recommend the book. The truth is ugly and painful to face. But it is better to face it than to pretend it is not there.

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