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Books: The Kite Runner
Sunday, 2005 June 12 - 11:32 pm
After having this book sit on my shelf for two months, I finally read it... in two sittings.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, is not exactly a coming-of-age story; it's not exactly a character study; it's not exactly a suspense novel. It's a little bit of everything, I guess.

It's the story of an Afghani boy who grows up with the burden of guilt of something that he does in his childhood. We don't actually find out what that thing is for a number of chapters, and we spend the rest of the novel watching how that conflict gets resolved. That's kind of the tone of the book; the suspense builds slowly, the events unfold gradually. Once you get into it, it's gripping... but for folks who are looking for a Dan Brown kind of fast-paced thriller, this might not be for you.

It's an emotional and affecting story; there was one section that even brought a tear to my eye. But sometimes I got a little distracted with improbable plot twists. Other times I got distracted for the opposite reason: because I found a particular sequence of events a little bit too predictable or contrived.

The protagonist characters were deep and well-written; some of the antagonists, though, were a little bit one-dimensional. I tend to dislike it when an author makes a character unreasonably evil without providing any apparent motivation for it.

As I approached the end of the book and I saw how few pages were remaining, I noticed that events started to happen rapidly, and the gradual pace of the story was abandoned. It's possible that this was the author's intent, but I thought it a little strange how rushed the ending seemed, compared to the rest of the book.

It's unfortunate that the book had to end that way, because until then, I'd enjoyed the measured style. Still, the story and the themes were compelling, and the perspectives on a rarely-discussed culture were really interesting.

Rating: 4 / 5
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Posted by Ken in: booksreviews

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