Oct 30, 2010

Uçurtma Avcısı (The Kite Runner)

Original Title: The Kite Runner
Turkish Title: Uçurtma Avcısı
English Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Pages: 440
Rating: 5/5
Applicable Challenges: 50 Books A Year, Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

I loved “A Thousand Splendid Suns” so much. Right after I finished reading it, I bought this book. It was a bit hard for me to wait for a while before I start reading it.
A good part of the story takes place in Afghanistan. Amir is the lucky one with a rich cultural heritage that values tradition, kinship and well-established cultural identity. Hassan is the unlucky Hazara servant. They are good friends, sharing many things together, spending lots of time together as long as it doesn’t clash with the social class Amir belongs to. Their relationship is tested twice. The first time Amir fails Hassan. He prefers to hind behind the values of his social class but becomes a victim of his conscience and inner self. He moves to San Francisco with his father as immigrants but the burden of betrayal travels all the way with him. In the States he is offered another chance at personal redemption. Amir goes back to homeland and this time he is well aware of the consequences of the decisions he has to take.
Hassan turns to Amir and says “For you a thousand times over!” Hassan said these words to Amir when he helped Amir to run for his kite in a kite-fighting tournament in their hometown, Kabul. That was the sentence where I lost control of my tears like many other readers.

The book is mainly about the internal struggle of Amir, which spans Afghani history from the peaceful 1970s to repressive rule of the Taliban in late 1990s. Although the events take place in a particular part of the world, the themes are universal: family relationship (mainly, father and son), disloyalty, betrayal, the inhumanity of a rigid class system and the realities of a nation at war.
I was lucky to read all of the book peacefully at home (I read at home and I mostly read when commuting) and I was so impressed. I was speechless when my mum called me for a daily talk because I was still with Amir and Hassan. I don’t know if a third book from Hoessini is on the way. If it ever comes out, I’ll definitely be among the first to read and this time I will not wait for a Turkish translation.
The boys were adorable, perfectly fitting in their respective roles and acting lovely. However, when I like the book of a certain movie so much, I expect the movie to be an over-achiever. Most of the time, the movies fail to do so. I believe it is mainly because our imaginations of the book we have read rarely matches with the imagination of the director.
Still, I loved the book and I liked the movie. I watched it with my husband and he totally loved it. I cried a lot during the movie but most of the time I cried for scenes that we have not watched yet but those that we will be watching shortly. My husband found it a bit wierd but I guess I lost control of my emotions.
The movie made me wonder the details of the Afghani history. I didn't feel the same enthusiasm to read about Afghani history but right after the movie, I found myself googling for books. If any of you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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