I read this novel with low expectations since I generally don’t like these types of novels. Unfortunately, this novel barely met even my low expectations. The Kite Runner is basically a long, rambling novel that is almost like a fictional memoir without any real plot, a novel where the writer is trying to wow the reader with his flowery prose rather than tell an engaging story. The story starts in Afghanistan and follows the life of its lead character from childhood to middle age. He is the son of a wealthy businessman and grows up with his father’s servant. Many bad things happen along the way, and Amir and his father wind up in the United States. Many years later, the story comes full circle when he returns to Afghanistan when it is under Taliban rule to find his friend Hassan murdered, and he tries to rescue Hassan’s son.
A novel like this can only work if the reader can get really engaged with the main character. Told in first person point of view from Amir’s viewpoint, I didn’t like his character in the least bit. I found him to be selfish and cowardly, so when good or bad things happened to him, I didn’t care in the least. The only coherence to a plot occurred in the final third of the novel, and by that point I had lost interest. If you are interested in a good story, I would strongly avoid this novel.
Carl Alves – author of Reconquest: Mother Earth