The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner
Author Cover artist Country Language Genre(s) Publisher
Khaled Hosseini Honi Werner
English Novel Riverhead Books
Publication date May 29, 2003 Media type Pages ISBN Print (hardcover & paperback), audio CD, audio cassette, and audio download 324 pp (first edition, hardcover) ISBN 1-57322-245-3 (first edition,hardcover)
The Kite Runner is a novel by the author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini's first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007. The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who befriended Hassan, the son of his father's Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop oftumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
Amir, a well-to-do Pashtun boy, and Hassan, a Hazara and the son of Amir's father's servant, Ali, spend their days in a peaceful Kabul, kite fighting, roaming through the streets and being boys.Amir’s father,a wealthy Kabul merchant who traces his ancestry back to the Pashtuns, (who is generally referred to as Baba, "daddy", throughout the book) loves both the boys, but seems critical of Amir for not being manly enough. Amir secretly fears his father blaming him for his mother’s death during childbirth. However, he has a kind father figure in the form of Rahim Khan, Baba’s friend, whounderstands Amir better, and is supportive of his interest in writing stories. Amir tells us that his first word was 'Baba' and Hassan's "Amir,' suggesting that Amir looked up most to Baba, while Hassan looked up to Amir. Assef, a notoriously mean and violent older boy with sadistic tendencies, blames Amir for socializing with a Hazara, which is, according to Assef, an inferior race that should onlylive in Hazarajat. He prepares to attack Amir with his brass knuckles, but Hassan bravely stands up to him, threatening to shoot out Assef's left eye with his slingshot.
The Kite Runner Assef and his henchmen back off, but Assef says he will take revenge. Hassan is a successful "kite runner" for Amir, knowing where the kite will land without even watching it. One triumphant day, Amir wins thelocal tournament, and finally Baba's praise. Hassan goes to run the last cut kite, a great trophy, for Amir saying "For you, a thousand times over." Unfortunately, Hassan runs into Assef and his two friends. Hassan refuses to give up Amir's kite, so Assef exacts his revenge by raping Hassan. Hassan did not give up the kite because he wanted Amir's respect. Wondering why Hassan is taking so long,Amir searches for Hassan and hides when he hears Assef's voice. He witnesses the rape but is too scared to intervene, and returns home in shame, guilty for not being able to help his best friend in a grave situation. He feels that his cowardice in Hassans's rape would destroy any hopes for Baba's affections, so he let it be. Afterwards, for some time Hassan and Amir keep a distance from each other.Amir reacts indifferently because he feels ashamed, and is frustrated by Hassan's saint-like behavior. Already jealous of Baba's love for Hassan, he worries if Baba knew how bravely Hassan defended Amir's kite, and how cowardly Amir acted, that Baba's love for Hassan would grow even more. Amir, filled with guilt on his birthday, cannot enjoy his gifts. The only thing to him that does not feellike "blood" money is the book given to him by Rahim Khan, his father's friend and the only one Amir felt really understands him. To force Hassan to leave, Amir frames him by planting a watch and some money under Hassan's mattress from his melancholy birthday party; Hassan falsely confesses. Baba forgives him, despite the fact that, as he explained earlier, he believes that "there is no act more...