I just finished it and I have never felt so shattered by a book before and I have never cried so much reading one. Not steadily, but on and off and on again. The characters in this book are perfectly realized and the description of events, visceral and beyond disturbing. The glimpse we get of the spirit of the Afghan people is a testament to why the country has to be saved from the Taliban. The fact that the war still rages there after all these years is one of the main reasons I couldn’t stop crying while reading it. The fact that human beings can be so inexplicably cruel to each other because of race, social status and religion is beyond comprehension.
The characters of Hassan and Sohrab will take your breath away and your heart bleeds for them throughout the story but they are proof of the strength and magnificence of the human spirit, particularly manifested by Hassan’s devout faith in his God. You do not feel sorry for the main character, Amir, for anything he had to endure because he so convincingly assures the reader that he had to in order to achieve penance for his childhood sins. He paid the price for his mistakes ten fold and in the end finds his redemption in a kite, the very object that the story begins with, thus achieving perfect symmetry.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. You’ll just have to read it and see for yourself, but stock up on tissues first and if you’re sensitive and emotional like I am, be prepared to be emotionally shaken to your core.
I saw the Kite Runner movie and while it was slightly different (because of course there isn’t enough room in a movie to include the entire book’s contents), it was an excellent, superbly acted film and well worth renting or buying.