“Panic. You open your mouth. Open it so wide your jaws creak. You order your lungs to draw air, NOW, you need air, need it NOW. But your airways ignore you. They collapse, tighten, squeeze, and suddenly you're breathing through a drinking straw. Your mouth closes and your lips purse and all you can manage is a croak. Your hands wriggle and shake. Somewhere a dam has cracked open and a flood of cold sweat spills, drenches your body. You want to scream. You would if you could. Cut you have to breathe to scream. Panic.”
“Panic. You open your mouth. Open it so wide your jaws creak. You order your lungs to draw air, NOW, you need air, need it NOW. But your airways ignore you. They collapse, tighten, squeeze, and suddenly you’re breathing through a drinking straw. Your mouth closes and your lips purse and all you can manage is a croak. Your hands wriggle and shake. Somewhere a dam has cracked open and a flood of cold sweat spills, drenches your body. You want to scream. You would if you could. Cut you have to breathe to scream. Panic.”

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is the story of two boys, Amir and Hassan, in Afghanistan. We start with Amir recounting events that happened years before. He explains how these events shaped him into the man he is today. The boys form an unlikely friendship, Amir being the son of a wealthy man, and Hassan the son of Amir’s father’s servant.

If I were to sum up this book, I think the words from Khaled’s author website say it best: “It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.”

I found this book quite interesting, though at times it was quite uncomfortable and even painful to read. It touches on things I think are prevalent, yet unspoken, in many areas of the world. With that said, I loved the insight into the Afghani culture in The Kite Runner. Once again, I found the insight fascinating. The history and cultures of other people and countries is quite intriguing. I do have personal and firsthand experience, but that is limited. As such, I find myself reaching (more and more) for the books that can show this diversity to me in the comforts of my home.

If you are looking for the sort of book with those terrifying villains you might see in science fiction, or twisted, inhuman monsters in fantasy fiction, this is not the book for you. It is a good book, but it is not that kind of book!

The Kite Runner is a human story. Yes, other genres have humans in them, but that is not what I mean here. Even though fantasy stories and others can have human elements, there is something about The Kite Runner and (some) books set in our world, without the fantastical elements, that just pulls you in.

Even with a contrasting culture, I can still see things I recognize. I see familiarity in the emotions, in some attitudes, and I suspect that many of you will as well. This is, in my opinion, a large part in why I enjoyed this book. If I can identify with a story in some way, that connection just strengthens the literature in front of me. Does this happen for you?

If you decide to give this book a try (and I would recommend you do), I would love to hear what you think about it. Turn the pages and get back to me!

~~**~~

Title: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Publisher: Riverhead Trade

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