the kite runner

On Wednesday morning, I finished reading Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner while sitting in the tea room, waiting to start work (most of the time, I go to work really early so that I’m not starting the day in a rush). I did enjoy reading it, and thought it was quite an eye-opening sort of novel, but I don’t feel like it had as much impact as what I was expecting. To be fair, this was probably not entirely the fault of the book.

When I started reading TKR, people kept warning me that it was a sad story, and that I could expect to shed some tears. Having reached the end of it, I can still say that I’ve never been moved to tears by a novel. Well, unless you count those tears from yawning too much… But TKR is not a boring book. It is very sad, but not that sad (?)

When I’d finished reading it, I was pretty eager to get home and start on the next book on my TBR list. After the book hangovers I had from David Copperfield and  Tender is the Night, I suppose TKR had a bit of pressure to follow suit. But it didn’t give me a book hangover – at least, I didn’t think so at first. But it’s now Thursday night, so it’s essentially been two days since I finished it, and I haven’t been able to start another book quite yet.

To be fair, I think I’m also just tired, and maybe I need a short break from reading. One of the good things about TKR is that it’s actually really easy to read. Despite the foreign names for people, places, food, etc and the various Afghani phrases Hosseini introduces, it’s a relatively easy read.

I kind of want to say more about it, but I’m not sure what exactly – rather, I’m not sure what’s holding me back. And it feels weird because the last few books I’ve read really made me want to write about them, and just talk about them to other people (even before I’d finished reading the entire novels too!)

Ok, let’s try breaking it down to simple things because I think I’m too sleepy now after a long-ish week at work, a 7km run this evening, and just this lovely sleeping weather…

I don’t think I’ve read a story like TKR before. Maybe there are similar themes to other novels, but, as cliched as this will sound, I suppose there is something unique in it’s rawness. It is one of those novels that people call “powerful” (for good reason).

But I don’t think I would read it again. I think I would recommend it to certain others – it is definitely a worthwhile read, and I’m glad that I read it – but, personally, I don’t feel compelled to get my own copy so that I can revisit it a few years down the track. Similarly, I’d happily read some of Hosseini’s other work, but I’m probably not going to prioritise it.


4 thoughts on “the kite runner

  1. I had the same reaction to The Kite Runner. While I appreciated the insights into Afghani culture, the plot was by turns lackluster and melodramatic. I thought the writing would astound me but it didn’t. The hardest thing to get past was that for 90% of the story the main character was a selfish jerk.

    • It’s good to know I’m not the only one! I was just looking at all the good reviews they put on the back cover, and wondering why I didn’t quite get the same experience… But, actually, I’ve found several negative reviews on GoodReads too. And, yes, it’s hard to really like a story if the protagonist is unlikable

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