VI: Afghanistan


This is a post about a book I read quite a few years ago. I scored it five stars on Goodreads. Until I read this book, I had never heard of kite running as a game. But Khaled Hosseini describes it so well, I almost feel like I’ve played it myself!

Amir is the son of a wealthy merchant. Hassan, his servant and friend, is from a despised and impoverished caste. I suppose what makes it so interesting is that the two boys seem so unlikely to be friends in the first instance.

They are torn apart by the divisions in the community. There are a number of disturbing events including rape, brutal beatings and public executions. These things make for uncomfortable reading and even though it is a work of fiction it is written in such a graphic and believable voice that it is hard to separate yourself from the idea that it is based on actual events.

Years later, Amir goes back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs. And that it is Amir that goes looking for Hassan, makes it somehow that bit more powerful and yet more tragic too. The hold that guilt can have over a person, over a lifetime. At times, I almost thought it was selfish of Amir to go looking for Hassan, to bring up the past. Further highlighting the privilege of Amir’s life, his ability escape the past for so many years, and then to travel back to it to heal his own scars.

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