There’s no doubt that ‘The Kite Runner’ is a great story, especially because it was Khaled Hosseini’s first novel – indeed, first publication of any form of writing. He can weave a mesmerising tale that keeps the reader turning the pages long after s/he wanted to turn in for the night and get some well-deserved sleep. The descriptions of the children’s lives in Kabul before the Taliban took over are so evocative that you can almost imagine being there with them. He manages this because there is enough about the lads that is universally recognisable – they could be living next door to us in Dhaka – that we easily get into other material that we might never have heard of before: like the kite running competition.
However, as the novel progresses, the action speeds up and becomes a roller coaster ride of adventures that is sometimes hard to believe. We wonder whether such things can really happen! And there is simply too much action; there are too many characters that have little to do with the main plot. This doesn’t allow Hosseini to explore their personalities and so the story seems to lack something. Do we know enough about them really to care about their fates?
So, I enjoyed the novel. It kept me turning the pages. I didn’t cast it aside. But, as Hosseini matured as a writer – say with ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ – he got better at his craft and his stories are more well-rounded. There are not so many loose ends and we believe in and care more about his characters.
NOTE: I hope the title is self-explanatory. Mark does not have a wordpress account, so I am posting this on his behalf. Another one for our #Read_Of_The_Month challenge for March