Agent: Dawn Maria
Agent Activities: Owner, BodyFusion
Location: Wanstead, London
Author(s): Khaled Hosseini
Report Published: 28th June 2016
With his intricately written novel, Kite Runner, Hosseini brings to life a ruling caste Afghani family and their low caste servants whose lives are changed forever with the invasion of the Soviets. The core of the book is about the power of relationships, duty, loyalty and love (in its purest sense) throughout life, across generations and even continents.
The most significant relationship in the novel is that which exists between a father and son – where the legitimate son Amir yearns for his father’s approval, and is confused about his father’s love for Hassan, the servant’s son.
The annual kite competition brings the boys together for what should be a great day out and a chance for Amir to win his father’s approval. It’s not the winning but the devastating events which follow that shatter their lives forever and ask whether wrongs can ever be put right.
Although fiction, the book is written so graphically and with such care, that it is hard to separate in the mind that this story is NOT based on actual events and this is why Kite Runner’s bookquake is so powerful and continues to move the reader years after first finishing it.
“There is only one sin and that sin is theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”
“War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.”
There were two aspects which shook me. The first was the cruelty and evil that prowled the streets of Kabul during the Soviet invasion. Although fiction, this element of the story is obviously based on the realities shared by those who have lived that experience and know it all too well.
Secondly, I was struck by the unconditional love and loyalty expressed by the boy Hassan versus the desire for approval and superiority that plagues Amir, even into his adulthood.
It has been 18 months since I read this book, but the unconditional love of Hassan still haunts me. I really do aspire to as selfless as he.