The Best Book I’ve Ever Read

24 December 2009 at 12:00 am (Book Reviews, Entertainment, Family, Movies, Raves, World Issues) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


I have been moved by MANY books but none have hit me as hard as The Kite Runner. I first read Khaled Hosseini about three years ago when I purchased A Thousand Splendid Suns. I loved that book and vowed to buy The Kite Runner right after that. Time escaped me. I was in Value Village of all places where this book was sitting on the counter. It looked brand new and was only $5.99. I bought it of course. It took me almost a month to read it (which is unusual for me) not because it was slow or boring or didn’t hold my interest but because I was so busy I often only had time to read it on my lunch break at work and to and from work on public transit. Towards the middle though, I started taking an extra 30 minutes before bed to close a chapter. I just couldn’t put it down.

In The Kite Runner, Amir and Hassan grow up together in Afghanistan like brothers, although they couldn’t be more different. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman, a Sunni Muslim, a Pashtun, and he’s educated and reads voraciously. Hassan’s father is a servant to Amir’s father.  Hassan is a Sh’ia Muslim, a Hazara, illiterate, and he has a harelip. But neither boy has a mother and they spend their childhoods roaming the streets of Kabul together. Amir, though, continually uses his superior position to taunt or abuse Hassan, and one day hides in fear as Hassan is beaten mercilessly by bullies. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan sends Amir’s family to the United States, but he returns there as an adult during the Taliban rule to atone for his sins to Hassan.

This book caused me to shed tears on public transit like a damn fool. It is extremely provocative, powerful, and heartbreakingly gripping. I have never read such a piece of factually based fiction that left me feeling so tired, angry, exhausted and hopeful and at peace. So many emotions are stirred within you when you read this story. So many emotions are left swirling around you when you close the back-end. It’s a tough read at times because you are so taken in by Hassan’s innocence and what happened to him was just gut-wrenching. His unwavering love and kindness for Amir are relentless and you want to hate Amir so much but you can’t because there is a part of Amir that lives in all of us. To despise him would be to despise that part of ourself.

I will say the nature of Amir and Hassan’s bond was something I picked up on immediately. I knew from the first 1/4 of the book what I ended up learning in the latter half. I won’t say what it was. I don’t want to say it was any foreshadowing on the author’s part but rather my knack for picking up on the understated obvious. As a writer myself I saw the signs. I was pleased to be correct. I feel like the character development couldn’t have grown the way it did without that sort of connection. I know I’m not making much sense to those that havent read the story but for the ones that have – I’m sure you see what I mean.

This is a story of honour and redemption. Of atonement and forgiveness. Of love. There is a quote in the book said by Amir’s Baba and it says: “A child that doesn’t stand up for himself grows into a man who doesn’t stand up for anything.” And in so many ways this is true but the best part of this book is the other quote that sent Amir onto his path of atonement and that was stated by Rahim Kahn in which: “there IS a way to be good again“. There is always a way. Redemption doesn’t have to always come in the form of the way it did with Amir. His sacrifice was the ultimate price to pay BUT if we all just look to do the right thing when we are called upon to do so, and even when we aren’t – the world would be a better place.

I’m watching the movie now and while I’m sure it won’t be as good as the book (let’s be honest, what movie ever is?) I will be honest and tell you that as soon as I saw the little boy who would play Hassan, my eyes literally teared up. I don’t know – to put a face to such a beautifully tragic character just brought it all home for me.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who has yet to read it. I am declaring this to be THE best book I have ever read. Not ONE of the best but THE best. Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel paints a gritty and gruesome aspect of modern-day Afghanistan and what it was like to grow up in a country that was once so full of culture and heritage. This book will force you to cherish your loved ones, believe in yourself and the responsibility you have to stand up for yourself and others and the power of God to always be on your side even when it seems He has turned his back on you.

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6 Comments

  1. Shannon T. Boodram said,

    I wasn’t 100% on this book. I found it got very slow at parts but I do remember finishing it in days. I LOVED when he went back to get the son, I read this book so long ago so I can’t quite remember names but I remember my thought after reading it was, …”cool” Not the best book I’ve read but definitely a great insight read

    p.s. I’m loving the song on this page!

    • Corprah Lanfrey said,

      Thank you for your input !! 🙂

      and the song is by Alexander O’Neal – My Gift To You

  2. Shannon T. Boodram said,

    I came back today to get your Youtube Christmas mix 😀 Merry Christmas

  3. sunni marriage said,

    Happy New year. Let me read this book and send you the review.

  4. a.eye said,

    I loved this book, too. So much that when I started made an Asian Studies course at my school I made sure to cover this region just so that I could incorporate the book. We did it the year that the movie came out. The kids were really into the book and were excited that they took the class the semester the movie came out.

    But we were all disappointed in how much the movie strayed from the book. It was really cool to be able to see how into the book the kids were and how a couple of them actually wrote the author to tell him how much they loved the book.

    • Corprah Lanfrey said,

      yes. i wasn’t very pleased with the movie but its always good to watch the adaptation nonetheless JUST to see a visual.

      thank you for your comment 🙂

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