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Book Review: The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Reading A Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner was extremely interesting. I finished both books within 2 days. They offer insights into Afghanistan, its recent history and some of its customs and ethnicies.

The books cover indivual stories of various characters, some of them really hard to swallow. I think the book really shows what war and the clash of multiple nation’s interest can do to a nation and its people. It’s not an easy read, but a highly engaging one.

Next to all the tough truths and horrible things the book covers, I really enjoyed one thing - Khaled Hosseini sprinkled the book with Dari words (a Farsi dialect prevalent in Afghanistan) whenever it made sense. So I was happy to broaden my vocabulary and even recognized some of those words.

In Kite Runner, the protagonist is the son of an influential family in Kabul, who during the war flee first to Pakistan, and then to the US. After years of absence, he returns back to Kabul to find a long lost family friend. In A Thousand Splendid Suns on the other hand, there are two protagonists - both are wives of the same despotical man. The two books by Khaled Hosseini complement each other very well, and I recommend to read them together.

Both books are very blunt. They are heartbreaking to read, and leave a bitter after taste. However, I am very happy that I read them. While reading and seeing some of the mentioned (very recent!) year dates, I remembered seeing Afghanistan in the news pretty much all the time while growing up. But somehow, reading these book had left a stronger impression on me than all the years of news coverage.

Published 28 Dec 2018

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