‘Everybody has a choice, standing in front of the two roads that lay ahead realization dawned that I was no exception…………’ . Neo’s famed words ring true for the protagonist of Khalid Hosseini’s path breaking novel- ‘The Kite Runner’ Set against the backdrop of the rugged terrain of Afghanistan, this book deals about a choice that the protagonist makes which makes happiness a mirage in his life. The story travels through Afghanistan’s bullet ridden history and provides a profound insight into its transition from monarchy to ‘democracy’ under Daoud Khan to slavery under the Northern Alliance. The last few pages paint the gory details of the Taliban rule where every murmur was answered by Kalashnikov. Silhouetted in this scenery comes the heart-wrenching tale of Amir- the protagonist and his servant’s son Hassan. The two share a unique bonding that bordered on friendship but could never break the class barrier. “I was a Pashtun and he a Hazara, nothing could ever change that. The story takes a tearful turn when Amir, after having won a kite running competition with the unflinching support of Hassan chooses not to stand up for his friend and instead watches him being treated to the most inhuman tortures. The incident shackles the entire flow of the narrative which then leafs through Afghanistan’s political turmoil – which is reflected in Amir’s thoughts.
This unique connections makes one draw parallels with Shakespeare whose plays were dotted with such comparisons. The ending is a brilliant and poignant moment which provides a fitting finale to a tale that touches readers of all ages. The novel stands out for the vivid and detailed character sketches of all the characters irrespective of its importance to the central plot. ‘The Kite Runner’ is an astounding portrayal of the Afghan way of life and manages to etch a crystal clear image of the intricacies of their lives. However one aspect of this novel that sets it apart from all is its touching narrative which could perhaps bring Bin Laden to tears. A must read for all bookworms this book manages to breach all age barriers. Perhaps the following lines from the book itself speak volumes about it - “His son’s body had been torn into pieces by the land mine but a smile beamed on the proud father’s face……….. Land mine, there could not be a more Afghan way of dying”Write your abstract here.