Afghanistan, the story of my life. Not mine mine of course, but the story of one Khaled Hosseini, the author of the Kite runner. I picked it up because I saw it mentioned in the New York Times reading section and I can now say that it was a decent read.

A story takes place before the soviet invasion, when two kids are building up a friendship. Amir and Hassan are of two different social castes (the latter is a servant to the former), but that does not prevent them to enter a kite running competition. They eventually win and when the servant goes to collect the kite, he is ambushed by some bullies. They beat him up and Amir is forever marked with guilt of not helping out his friend. With the russians invading the country, the rich Amir flees the country with his family, leaving Hassan behind. Skipping into the present, where Afghanistan is ruled by the Talibans, Amir gets a call from the past. Amir must go back to Kabul, saving a life and redeeming his own for the sins of the past.

You can see that this is the first novel by Khaled. His narration needs a little touch-up and the whole story line is filled with some stereotypes. Some passages could use a little deamericanization, nevertheless, the more original passages are worth the read. Describing the Kabul and life in it, sharing local stories with us, making the whole thing feel like “Life of Pi”. But although both books deal with life in exotic places, they both feature a twist in the end, they are also unique, full of wonders.

If you are looking for something interesting and fluid, something exciting and are willing to put up with some cliche…look no further.

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