The Kite Runner is a heart-wrenching and deeply moving fiction novel that sways from side to side various human emotions and relations. It is, indeed, the debut novel for the author, Khaled Hosseini, but he manages to keep the readers engaged with a heavy heart. The book was published in 2003 and remained as number one New York Times bestseller for more than two years.
Amir, the protagonist and the narrator, is from a well-to-do Pashtun family of 1970s Afghanistan. He loves to fly kites with his Hazara, a low class, friend, Hassan; the kite runner, who knows exactly where the cut kite will land. A warm atmosphere and affectionate aura prevail in Amir's house because his father loves both the boys and has a trust upon Hassan to take care of physically weak and less courageous Amir.
Like every coin has two sides, the Kabul city also has narrow minded people who treat people according to the class they belong. The friendship of Amir and Hassan is continuously mocked by a notorious boy named Assef. One day he prepares to beat Amir, but Hassan defends his friend and threatens the bully to back off or else his slingshot will shoot Assef's eye out. Assef retreats but warns for a revenge.
Amir participates in a local kite flying tournament, and he manages to win it earning praises from his father and everyone in the town. As Amir cuts the last kite, Hassan says, "For you, a thousand times over", and runs to get the kite- a great trophy for his friend. Amidst the celebration, he waits for his friend's return with the prized possession, but in vain.
Amir goes out in search for his friend and encounters something terrible which he chooses to ignore though it is Hassan, who is on the receiving of the torture. The incident develops a guilt feeling in him, yet not able to face it and thus plans to part ways with Hassan.
As time passes by and due to certain unavoidable circumstance, Amir moves to California with his father, continues his studies, grows up and even gets married. But all through these years, he could not get rid of the guilt and achieve redemption. But one day he manages to gather his courage and sets out to pay for what he did not do- which made his friend suffer.
And the Mountains Echoed and A Thousand Splendid Suns are some of the famous works of this Afghan-American author, Khaled Hosseini. You can order the paperback edition published by Bloomsbury publication with ISBN-10: 0747566534 and ISBN-13: 978-0747566534 from the store.