After reading Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, the most endearing became the phrase, “For you, a thousand times over”, first voiced by Hassan, inarguably the most sympathized with character in the novel. The simply titled yet convoluted novel narrates the coming-of-age story of two boys, discusses the state of a nation, celebrates the bond of friendship and, most importantly, the height and depth love could attain.
While at first, you might perceive Hassan as gullible, Amir as being undeserving of the love Hassan bestows on him, Baba being an impartial father, and Ali a loyal to a fault servant; soon you realize Hassan is an embodiment of selfless love Amir realizes all too late, Baba’s fairness is out of familial piety, and Ali’s loyalty is part due to his debt to Baba and a part special bond he feels with Hassan.
The Kite Runner questions reality and the nature of truth. The reality between the two main characters might be cold but it is the fact: one would always be there, the other loves but would never measure up. And at the end of the novel, only guilt allows Amir to return the favor to Hassan’s offspring. In reality, we also see the box of revelations opened at crucial points about characters like Baba. The nature of truth is tricky—some might say relative—but the unwavering answer is you cannot really judge the lies told in this novel as right or wrong.
While this piece has an optimistic ending, Hassan’s turbulent short-lived life could justify it as a tragedy, and just like me, you might begin to wonder if he died directly or indirectly from being there a thousand times over.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Riverhead Books, March 2013.
Reviewer’s bio: Harry Okorite Joy is an avid reader, budding writer and fashion enthusiast. She adores owls. Reach her via Instagram @o.k.o.r.i.t.e or Facebook @ Harry Okorite.