The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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Amina Orzueva , Contributor

The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini, tells the story of an unexpected friendship between Amir a rich Afghan boy, and Hassan the servant’s son. The book takes place mostly in Afghanistan during the 1960s-2001 when Afghanistan was being destroyed by war. Throughout the book Amir, the main character describes every part of his life from his childhood, to being a teenager, to being an adult. Hassan was the person that was always there for Amir, they would play together, he would listen to Amir’s stories, and fought all of Amir’s battles. But when Amir’s father’s friend brought their children to play, Amir always excluded and Hassan and never acknowledged him as a friend.   

When Amir and Hassan were kids, kite tournaments were huge events in Afghanistan. Hassan would always run the kites for Amir. One year, when Amir’s father pressured him to win, Hassan did whatever he could to help. As Hassan was running after the last remaining kite, Assef the “psychopath” in the neighborhood and his friends cornered Hassan. That day changed everything. Filled with regret, Amir found ways to get rid of Hassan. Finally, Hassan and his father left.

A few years later, due to the war in Afghanistan, Amir and his father moved to the United States. Amir’s father worked in the gas station while Amir finished high school and college. Every Saturday, they would go around town and buy items from several garage sales. On Sunday, they went to the flea market and sold those items to make extra money. One Saturday afternoon, Amir met Soraya, and a few months later, they got married. Unfortunately, they were not able to have children.

One day, Amir got a letter from his father’s friend Rahim Khan, telling him that he won’t live for long, and “there is still time to do good.” When Amir went to Pakistan to visit Rahim Kan, he informed him that he knew what happened that day. Rahim Khan explained what happened to Hassan after he moved out of Amir’s house. Hassan and his wife had gotten shot, and their son Sohrab, was in an orphanage. Rahim Khan told Amir that there is a couple in America who adopts Afghan kids that have lost their parents. Amir goes searching for Sohrab and finds him with Assef. Amir realizes that this can be a way for him to save Sohrab and let go of the guilt. Amir and Assef get into a brutal fight, because Assef does not let Amir take Sohrab. To end the fight, Sohrab uses a tactic that his father had taught him to leave Assef unconscious. Amir finally takes Sohrab to America.  

This novel demonstrates the importance of friendship, and what it means to be a good friend. It also shows what betrayal can do to both parties. The guilt never goes away, and the other person will never forget the betrayal. It is a fast-paced novel filled with many plot twists and deep lessons about betrayal, family, friendship, love and more.