Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kite runner

Finished reading the kite runner by Khaled Hosseini. The story is set in Afghanistan. The time spans before the war, during the invasion and during the Taliban. One of my friends who had read the book had described the book as 'interesting'.

Before I started reading, i had read the reviews that were printed at the back cover. One of the newspapers had called the book 'painfully honest'. I wondered what that meant, but found out soon.

Its one thing to tell a story as a third person, by naming the protagonists as A, B and C and say A hurt B, so A was such a kind of a person, whereas its an age apart to tell a story as "I did this, I could not stand up for what i loved, I was a coward". Since I had never read anything so honest, the book impressed me. More than the story, it was the narration that i liked. The language had been kept very simple. The book also gives you a quick account of Afghan life during the Russian invasion and the Taliban rule, of the kabab loving-community and their values, their short-comings and misgivings, their life and death.

The one line that lingered in my mind long after i read the book came when the first gun shots were heard in Afghanistan- that was the time when Afghanistan was like any other peaceful country (i swear it was difficult for me to imagine a peaceful Afghanistan). The children were terrified when they heard the gunshots and they huddled together and their care-taker tells them that the sound is because 'they are hunting ducks'. The author says 'they were foreign sounds to us. the generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born'

Yes, an interesting book, but also deep, dark and disturbing. but i believe you wil grow a little wiser after you read it