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The Kite Runner

Nothing that I am going to say about The Kite Runner (2004; Riverhead, 2003) ought to diminish in the slightest any reader's satisfaction in this extremely strong story of redemption and protection.

One of the blurbs on the back cover of Khaled Hosseini's first novel, from the Washington Post Book World, runs,

A powerful book ... no frills, no nonsense, just hard, spare prose...

It's not as hard and spare as all that, but The Kite Runner is one of the most artless novels that I have ever read, and I was quite confused by it until a possible resolution became clear, well past the half-way point. The Kite Runner turned out to be the very opposite sort of book from the kind that Miss G's remark led me to expect. "It's hard at the beginning," she said, while non-verbally challenging me to read a book that had meant a great deal to her. I assumed she meant that the story would be hard-going at first, difficult to read for some reason, such as violent subject matter or narrative obliquity. But it was the end of the book that I found hard: suspense overwhelmed my eyes to the point where they could hardly read.

But the novel remained artless right up to the last page. By this I mean...

Continue reading about The Kite Runner at Portico.


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the sanderling readers group did the Kite Thing, I found the CD recording at the library and listened to the author read his work, really neat cuz he had the natural afghan enunciation of the words, maybe if you give it a listen you may find some pleasure keep happy

Great, insightful post, as usual. We read KR for our book group (no kitten heels permitted), and most folks would agree with your assessment completely.

P.S. My mother just asked me if you were single.

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