Friday, December 18, 2009

The Kite Runner

So, the other day on my train journey back to Tara's place, I finished The Kite Runner. I picked up this book... apprehensively. I've never had a desire to read about the middle east. I'm not sure why, it has just never interested me. The were two reasons I did decide to pick this book up. One, it came so well recommended, and two, I've been wanting to know more about Afghan culture and their history for various reasons. Were my reasons validated?

   Yes. All the praise and acclaim directed at this book was well deserved. Also, I came away with a new understanding of Afghanistan and the country's tumultuous past and present. As some of you may know, this new understanding and education was something I've been searching for recently.

   The book is also very emotional. The protagonist, Amir, endures a great deal throughout his life. Love, loss, and the like, though what really struck me hardest (and caused me to get a little teary eyed), was the stark contrast between past and present Afghanistan. I never realized, due to my own ignorance, that Afghanistan was once a prosperous country with a Monarchy and all the things we take for granted. Now, its cities are reduced to rubble, its people controlled by fear, terror and violence, and the Taliban rule for themselves alone.

   I can only ask that if you, like I was, are the slightest bit in the dark as to why the western world's armies must be in Afghanistan, read this book. It may not fully change your opinion, no single book can do that, but it may answer a few questions. I cannot wait to get my hands on A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini's second novel.

 The Kite Runner @

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