The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

Dit boekverslag vertelt alles over het boek The Kite Runner, geschreven door Khaled Hosseini.

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This bookreport answers the following:

  • Who is the author of the book?
  • Explain the title.
  • When did the story take place?
  • What are the main themes in the book?
  • What type of book is it?
  • Who are the main characters in the book and how do they develop?
  • Give an overview of the plot of the book.
  • From whose perspective is the story told?
  • Why did you choose this book?
  • What was the most interesting part of the book in your eyes?
  • Which character did you find most interesting/appealing?

Who is the author of the book?

The author of the book is Khaled Hosseini.

Explain the title.

The book is called The Kite Runner. The reason for this is that kite-fighting is a very important happening in the book. The two main characters, Amir and Hassan, contest at the start of the book in a local kite-fighting tournament. Amir has to cut the strings of other kites and Hassan will run after kites, whose strings are cut. At the end of the book, it’s Amir who runs after a loose kite.

When did the story take place?

The book takes place in the period of 1963 up to and including 2001. It is actually Amir who in December 2001 tells about everything that happened to him. It starts in Kabul, where Amir lives a peaceful life , but when the Russians invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to America. When he returns to Kabul, there is still a (civil) war in Afghanistan.

What are the main themes in the book?

The author wants to show us the search for redemption of a boy, whose life is controlled by guilt over a mistake in the past. Other themes in this book are friendship, betrayal and the uneasy love between father and sons.

What type of book is it?

This book is a fictional novel, although it has some autobiographical elements.

Who are the main characters in the book and how do they develop?

There are three main characters in The Kite Runner: Amir, Hassan and Baba.

At the start of the book Amir is about 11 years old. He is a round character. Throughout the book, we can see Amir changing as person. Instead of a selfish boy who lives a happy life and can have whatever he wants, he is a selfless grown-up who still feels guilty about things in the past and wants redemption. This drives him to do (good) things he otherwise never would have done.

Hassan is one year younger then Amir. He is Amir’s servant and characteristics wise, Hassan stays a servant. He is loyal, forgiving and good-natured. He always puts himself second and other persons first. That’s why he is a flat character.

Baba is the father of Amir. His personality changes throughout the book. The main reason for his change is the move to America. In Kabul, Baba was a very rich and independent businessman. He wanted Amir to be like that as well. In America however, Baba was happy to see Amir doing what he loves. He opens up more and the relationship between the two got better because of that.

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Give an overview of the plot of the book.

Amir grows up in Kabul, living with his father and their servants Ali and Hassan. Hassan is, besides his servant, Amir’s best friend. They win a local kite-fighting tournament and Amir tells Hassan to get the loose kite. Hassan answers with the words’ For you, a thousand times over.’ Hassan gets it, but afterwards he gets raped in an alleyway by Assef, a boy who hates Hassan because of his origin. Amir saw this but ran away. Because of his feelings of guilt and shame, Amir doesn’t want to see Hassan. He puts money and a watch under Hassan’s pillow, hoping that his father, Baba, will send Ali and Hassan away. Baba doesn’t, but Ali and Hassan go anyway.

Four years later, the Russians invade Afghanistan and Baba and Amir have to flee to Pakistan. From there, they go to America, where they try to build up a new life. After a while, Baba gets diagnosed incurable cancer. He declines life-extending treatments. Before his death, Amir marries a girl , Soraya. After years, Amir gets a call from Rahim Khan, an old friend of Baba. He asks him to come to Pakistan, because there is a way to be good again. Amir goes and gets told by Rahim Khan that he and Hassan were half-brothers and that he has to go to Kabul again to safe Hassan’s son, Sohrab. Hassan himself and his wife got shot by the Taliban. Amir tries to find Sohrab in an orphanage, but there he gets told that Sohrab is taken by a Taliban general, who rapes him. Amir goes to the general , who turns out to be Assef. Assef says he will let the boy go, but that he has some unfinished business with Amir. Assef wants them to fight, with only one going out of that fight alive. Thanks to Sohrab shooting with a slingshot at Assef, Amir can escape with the boy. Because of his injuries, Amir passed out. Back in Pakistan, Amir finds out Rahim Khan wanted that Amir himself would take Sohrab with him to the USA. He tries to get Sohrab a visa, but without success. He tells Sohrab that the only option contains the boy going back to an orphanage, something Sohrab by no means wants. Sohrab tries to commit suicide, but survives. Eventually, thanks to an Afghan friend in America, Sohrab gets a visa and they go to America. Unfortunately, the only thing Sohrab does is sleep. He doesn’t have any joy in his life. Six months later, Amir, Soraya and Sohrab go to an Afghan gathering. There was a kite-fighting tournament and Amir and Sohrab win together. Sohrab finally smiles. Amir asks if he should run for the kite and Sohrab nodded. Amir answers with the words ‘For you, a thousand times over.’

From whose perspective is the story told?

The story is told by a grown-up Amir, the main character.

Why did you choose this book?

I chose this book, because I was triggered by the text on the back of it. I would recommend it to my fellow students, because the book really intrigued me. I enjoyed reading the book and found it very refreshing to read about a culture I didn’t know much about.

What was the most interesting part of the book in your eyes?

The most striking passage for me was the passage where Amir and Hassan go up the mountain together for the first time after the tournament and Amir hits Hassan with a pomegranate and asks Hassan to hit him, but Hassan hits himself. For me, it showed the big difference between Hassan and Amir and marked the turning point in the book. From that moment on, Amir really thinks he is better off without Hassan.

Which character did you find most interesting/appealing?

I found Hassan a very nice character. I think we could all learn from his nature; good and forgiving.

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