The Kite Runner by Khalded Hosseini starts out beautifully:
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
The description Amir tells of his childhood in Afghanistan is mesmerizing. Wanting to please his father, playing (and taunting) his friend/servant Hassan, dealing with the neighborhood boys. The first half of the book is very, very strong. However, the last third of the book I felt was too contrived, too formulaic, and too coincidental. I still became very emotional at times, but the ‘wow’ factor for me was gone. There were just too many coincidences in the end to make it a believable story. Overall, though, I did enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation. I’ll also be reading A Thousand Splendid Suns in 2008.
2003, 371 pp.
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