The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Warning: If you’re an emotional person then please grab a box of tissue when you start reading the book.
The Kite Runner is a beautiful yet heartbreaking story set in Kabul.
The story initially talks about the friendship of Amir and Hassan. Amir is from a well-off family in Kabul and Hassan is a Hazara boy who is also the son of Amir’s father’s servant. Both boys are loved equally by Amir’s Baba but Amir in Baba’s eyes is fragile and incompetent.
He is determined to change this opinion by winning the annual kite-flying festival which would lift him up in front of his father. Amir succeeds in winning the competition and Hassan is his ‘kite-runner’. Hassan somehow exactly knows every time where the kite will land. He brings home the kite for him. But on his way home, he falls prey to Assef’s malicious doings which Amir is a witness of but he doesn’t admit it to anyone.
To free himself from the guilt, Amir frames Hassan of robbery. As a result, Hassan and his father leave their residence and were never to be seen again by Amir.
Hassan still loved Amir and was still loyal to him.
Amir is haunted by a life-long guilt. Years later, Rahim Khan, Baba’s dear friend calls up Amir for it was his time for redemption. Amir, accompanied by Farid, an Afghan taxi driver, and veteran of the war with the Soviets, searches for Sohrab. They learn that a Taliban official comes to the orphanage often, brings cash, and usually takes a girl away with him. Occasionally he chooses a boy, recently Sohrab. The director tells Amir how to find the official, and Farid secures an appointment at his home by claiming to have “personal business” with him.
Amir meets the man, who reveals himself as Assef. Sohrab is being kept at Assef’s house. Assef agrees to relinquish him if Amir can beat him in a fight. Assef then badly beats Amir, breaking several bones, until Sohrab uses a slingshot to fire a brass ball into Assef’s left eye. Sohrab helps Amir out of the house, where he passes out and wakes up in a hospital.
Amir tells Sohrab of his plans to take him back to America and possibly adopt him. However, American authorities demand evidence of Sohrab’s orphan status. Amir tells Sohrab that he may have to go back to the orphanage for a little while as they encounter a problem in the adoption process, and Sohrab, terrified about returning to the orphanage, attempts suicide. Amir eventually manages to take him back to the United States. After his adoption, Sohrab refuses to interact with Amir or Soraya until the former reminisces about Hassan and kites and shows off some of Hassan’s tricks. In the end, Sohrab only gives a lopsided smile, but Amir takes it with all his heart as he runs the kite for Sohrab, saying, “For you, a thousand times over.”