I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
Sometimes, even after many years of reading and reviewing, I encounter a novel that is outstanding in its content and thought provoking in the message the author conveys. The Kite Runner is a book that instantly demands the attention of the reader with writing that is simply sublime. Kabul, Afghanistan, a city, a country torn apart by endless occupation and constant fighting. First the Soviets attempt to influence and control then the Mujahideen emerge slowly changing into the more radical face of the Taliban. Often in the background America, the supplier of arms to influence and perhaps overthrow the government.
It is 1975 and a 12 year old Amir, together with his best and most loyal friend Hassan, are hoping to be successful in the local kite flying contest. An incident occurs that will alter the lives of both boys irrevocably as they follow their chosen path. Guilt and blame remain and many years in the future the opportunity occurs for some form of redemption. This is not an easy read there are no perfect happy endings and nor should there be because life is a game of chance, good and bad. The Kite Runner gives wonderful insights into the day to day hardships of a city at constant war with the fear of death always present from explosions, and gunfire. This is a society where women have few if any rights and men who view them as a possession to be used, threatened and abused at their desire. The heart-wrenching conclusion may be difficult to accept but offers a type of closure and hope for an uncertain future. A truly remarkable read, a book to be read and reread by young and old alike