2007: 147. The Kite Runner

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.”

 The Kite Runner, Khaled Housseini

This is one of those books that reminds you that just because something is a best-seller, that doesn’t mean that it’s any good.  I’m not saying that this is a Da Vinci Code level disaster of a book, just that I was totally disappointed by The Kite Runner.  People raved about - actual people I know who have recommended good books to me in the past - but I thought that it was neither well written or well plotted.  The prose was clunky, which is perhaps understandable because I don’t think English is Housseini’s first language (not that that stopped Conrad, but whatever), but what I couldn’t bear was how cliched and obvious the plot was*.  It will make a fine film, I guess, but I want more from my novels.  

What I did like about the book (and, I suspect, what is the reason it has gotten such critical praise) is the way Housseini brings Afghanistan to life for the reader - both the way it was, before the Russians and the Taliban, and to some extent (though here, I found Housseini slightly less credible) the way it is now.  Even though the book didn’t really work for me as literature, Housseini is successful in capturing the world he lost when his country changed, and should be commended for that.  

Recommended for:  People interested in Afghanistan who can swallow goofy plotting and clunky writing; kite lovers; people who have deeply betrayed people who loved them and want to read about others who have done the same.


Date/Place Completed: 9/18/07; Flying to Atlanta

Categories:  Fiction; Commuting Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017