Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini

With this book, I have to say that I was torn between disgust of Hosseini's vividly gory details coupled with his infuriatingly misogynistic culture--granted that this is not his fault--and admiration of his understanding of the severe consequences a single choice can manifest together with his ability to put a new twist on an old story.

As far as I could tell, when I started, this was just going to be a typical book where the ever loyal and na├»ve friend would make a huge sacrifice for his best friend, and possibly die because of it. The different culture put an interesting spin on things, but other than that I could pretty much see what was coming the whole first part of the book. It was only after Amir became an adult that I started to be shocked by a lot of what was happening, like Baba’s cancer and Amir going back to find Sohrab and pretty much everything that happened in Afghanistan. That was when I started appreciating the writing instead of being disappointed by the gruesome tone and the unoriginal plot.

There was also something I noticed about Hosseini’s general writing style. It had an extreme emotional impact on me the majority of the time, whether it was from anger towards the culture that constantly put down women, or embarrassment at the ever present cowardice of Amir, or happiness at the very end when Sohrab began to come alive again. I found myself falling into seemingly every writing trap that Hosseini slipped into his book, or at least the ones I noticed. Every one word sentence, every suspenseful chapter ending, every separated paragraph drew me in as a reader, sometimes against my will when I realized what was going on, but I suppose that just gives Hosseini more credit as an intriguing and meticulous writer.

On a different note, with The Kite Runner I started practicing my text marking. I tried the “establishing territory” type first, because I thought it might be easier to begin with. I found that I really enjoyed this kind of text marking, specifically because I got to pick out quotes that stood out and related to things in my life. I could relate to more than I expected, from Amir’s description of the “casually arrogant” remarks made by his stepfather to Amir faintly recalling a memory of his father and observing that “time can be a greedy thing- sometimes it steals all the details for itself.” When I got to really think about some of the quotes in context I found that many of them were almost perfect descriptions of the way I felt about certain things, which, I have to say, was exciting but at the same time a little sad, because someone else can say it much better than I can, that someone else being a 30 year old man who comes from a completely different lifestyle, but in the end I was more impressed with this book than I initially expected.

1 comment:

  1. "It had an extreme emotional impact on me the majority of the time, whether it was from anger towards the culture that constantly put down women, or embarrassment at the ever present cowardice of Amir, or happiness at the very end when Sohrab began to come alive again." This aspect of Hosseini's writing surprises me every time I read it. Even when I knew what was going to happen, I was surprised by my passionate reaction. I agree with your assessment of his writing. I'm glad the text marking worked for you. I was hoping students would find a way that worked for them by experimenting with the different styles. Good post!

    ReplyDelete