Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner had the same kind of buzz surrounding it that The Life of Pi did. The same people were telling me about it, the same vague part of the world invoked in their commentary.

As the first novel I’ve ever read from an Afghani, I was delighted. The prose is good without being flashy or great. The plotting is fine, if a tad contrived at various points. The descriptions of Kabul make me think it must have been a fine and fabulous city before the soviets came and wrecked everything.

I have issue with the inclusion of blond-haired-blue-eyed Nazism as a root of evil. It seems to me that the Taliban are a regionally grown menace, who reached their sick conclusions without much influence from Mein Kampf. So then, in a sense, having the evil Talib baddie as a white man felt like a way of shifting blame to an “other.”

Otherwise, the novel was pretty good; I enjoyed it but didn’t love it, and while I’d read his later works, which I see appearing in bookstores everywhere, I’ve not run right out to buy it yet.

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