Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Reader's Diary #1080- Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner
He's not a perfect character, but I understood and loved him even more for his flaws. If you're one of the last people on Earth to read it (and here I thought I was the last), The Kite Runner tells of a man completely racked by guilt. As a child living in Afghanistan, he witnessed his friend, and friend of the family, being brutally attacked by some other boys and did not intervene. To add insult to injury, he could no longer look at his friend without being overwhelmed with guilt so effectively plotted to write his friend and family out of his life.
What I find so brilliant about the book is the way Hosseini has played with "unreliable narrator" idea. Normally that entails people whose facts might be called into question. In The Kite Runner, however, I didn't question the facts but the focus and interpretation. I found I had more empathy towards the narrator than even he had of himself. Did he make some horrible choices? Absolutely. But Hosseini manages to make them understandable, remarkably through a narrator that doesn't understand them himself.
That, plus the fascinating glimpse into a place and culture that I am almost completely ignorant about made the book one of the best things I've read this year.