Review of “The Kite Runner”

Generally I enjoy books while I read them (with some exceptions—I’m looking at you, The Shameful State) with the problems of the particular book only revealed upon reflection. That being said, in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner there are a couple of jarring moments of overwrought melodrama. 

In broad strokes, the story tells of a privileged Afghan boy who leaves Afghanistan as a refugee and begins a new life in America only to be called back nearly two decades later. 

It is this return to Afghanistan that marks the turn from affecting tale to heavy handed plot twists. Coincidences begin to proliferate at an astonishing rate, as characters and incidents from the first half are paraded through the redemption quest phase of the story. It would have been a stronger work if only the author had reined in a couple of the plot twists. 

The first half is unique and deeply affecting, but is let down by too many contrivances in the back end. Overall, The Kite Runner is a pretty good read if you willingly submit to its emotional manipulation and tendency towards melodrama. 

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