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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini March 1, 2006

Posted by pvccbookclub in Current Discussion.
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March's Book Club selection is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Our live library discussion will take place, Wednesday, March 22nd at 7 pm in the PVCC Library.

Against all odds, Amir and Hassan are friends. Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul businessman, and Hassan is the son of their servant, Ali. Amir is always jealous of the bond he perceives between his father and Hassan. He never feels that his father loves or is proud of him. On a winter day in 1975, Hassan is attacked by some local bullies, and Amir's cowardice and jealousy prevent him from helping his friend. He then compounds this betrayal by accusing Hassan of theft.As an adult, Amir is driven by love and guilt to atone for the terrible mistakes he made in his youth. His journey of redemption will take him back to Afghanistan, to face his greatest challenge: finding and saving Hassan’s son.

How do you feel about Amir, about Hassan? How are they similar? Are you surprised that they were ever friends?

What to you think about “Baba,” Amir’s father? How does his relationship change with Amir after they move to the United States? Do you consider him culpable in Amir’s betrayal of Hassan?

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Comments»

1. anonymous - March 21, 2006

I think a flaw of the book is that Baba lies about his relationship to Hassan. It totally goes against the character that Amir portrays of his father.

2. Shelle - March 22, 2006

Perhaps the Baba would experience a cultural stigma were he to confess to having had a relationship with a Hazara? Though Hassan was clearly dear to him, given his position in the community, he couldn’t admit it openly.

3. Paula - March 22, 2006

Amir was so hateful to Hassan when they were children. Later, he says that Hassan only inherited Baba’s more noble and honorable characteristics. But Baba would never have let anyone insult him or treat him poorly the way that Amir treats Hassan. It made me angry that Hassan didn’t stand up for himself. If he had done so, perhaps Amir would have looked more closely at his actions and become a better person too. I don’t mean to excuse Amir’s actions, but I hate how Hassan always let himself be victimized by his “friend.”

4. reader - March 22, 2006

I agree with the anger felt when Hassan would not stand up for himself, but my anger leaned toward Amir for the way he was always behaving like a spoiled brat. It is hard for me to put my self in Hassan’s shoes and understand why he acted the way he did. I have never had to deal with the sort of society that this takes place in.

5. BookFan - March 23, 2006

I read this book a while ago, so I’m stretching my memory a bit … But one, I remember being shocked when I realized that Hassan and Amir were brothers. Wherever that was revealed, I didn’t see it coming. I also was frustrated with Hassan’s passivity, but I think it’s because it is so far removed from my own character. Was Hassan being a victim by not standing up for himself, or was he just taking the high road?

6. Isabella - March 23, 2006

I really liked this book. I think it is understandable in some ways why Amir was the way he was when he was a kid. He was always being put down by his dad and c’mon, he was just a kid. You can’t expect kids to have the same mature thinking process and reactions as an adult would. Kids are very reactionary. It’s not very nice the way he treated Hassan, but in some ways, I don’t think Hassan expected to be treated as an equal.

7. Paula - March 27, 2006

How did you feel about the portrayal of women in this novel? Think about the women, Soraya (Amir’s wife), Sofia (Amir’s mother), Sanaubar (Hassan’s mother), and Kamila (Soraya’s mother). How were they depicted? What role did they play in the story?

8. Avid Reader - March 27, 2006

I don’t have anything really insightful to say, but I liked the book and thought the pace of it was really quick. I read it in about 3 days.

9. Alayne - April 19, 2006

I loved the book and couldn’t put it down.

I loved it when Amir could look back on his past and reinterpret it in the face of the present and future. He managed to have more insightful and realistic appraisals of his father, especially, once his perceptions matured. It made me accept his father more fully, as well, once Amir saw him as the flawed, but still brave, human person that he truly was.

10. Alayne - April 19, 2006

I thought that the portrayal of women in the novel were generally flat and traditional. Even when they surpassed traditional social mores such as Soraya living with a man, challenging her father’s wishes for her, and even swearing! she too, in the end, seemed to me to be a mere supporting character who served to buoy up the main character of Amir.

Mostly, I noticed that the women were defined in the novel primarily by their sexuality.

I didn’t like the way that Hassan’s mother was portrayed in the beginning as virtually evil in her rejection of Hassan (and Ali). I am sure that there would have been so many social factors present that discriminated against and limited women that her actions should have been read as desperate rather than evil.

11. Dixie Klatt - April 20, 2006

I read this book way last summer so my memory is a little vague. I really loved the story of the 2 boys. I agree with Isabella that the flaws in both boys keeps us mindful that they ARE just boys. The author draws you emotionally into the story. The scene where Hassan is tormented by the bullies, you feel their fear and embarrassment. The scene where Baba stands up to soldiers. He would rather be shot than witness them rape this woman before his eyes. It stands in sharp contrast to the frightened little boys and the bullies.

The American in me found the story very interesting. Amir is always ashamed that Hassan, the commoner, has all the manly virtue and strength of character that Amir lacks. I loved this book. It is one of the most emotional and compelling books I have read.

12. Hossanna - March 24, 2007

I’ve read this book for a school project, and i’m really glad i did it. All the little things happening through the book, makes one really “connected” to the characters. I started crying when baba died. I didn’t sctually like him, but for Amir, I felt this “giving-up” – feeling. Like Amir, i miss Hassan and i don’t understan how he managed to live so many years without him.
Hugs from Italy

13. Jane Doe - April 4, 2007

I am currently studying this text at school and I felt that it was extremely well written. Hosseini leaves little room for criticism. I was amazed at how connected and coincidentally, how angry i became with the characters and their actions/decisions, as if they were my own. This is definitely one of the most compelling stories i have read. I loved this book.

14. Tiana - April 23, 2007

Can anyone explain theft as a theme in the book?

15. Timoshi - May 13, 2007

yea, what’s the theme in the book?

help!

16. Paula - May 31, 2007

I hadn’t really thought about theft as a theme in this novel. Although, I guess you could say that Amir and Hassan’s innoncence was stolen from them when Hassan was raped after the kite run. I think that redemption and forgiveness are more prominent themes in this book, however. Amir is always striving to make up for his betrayal of Hassan, and seeks redemption by saving Hassan’s son. Baba, I believe, seeks Amir’s forgiveness for not being the kind of father he wanted to be.

17. zro - August 20, 2007

what was baba’s betrayal?

18. love Afghanistan - December 5, 2007

I cannot believe khaled Hosseini, an afghan person would mention rape scenes between boys in the novel. This is against our culture, I am an afghan myself and I have never heard of a boy raping another boy in Afghanistan. While I was reading this book in my English class the mention of the rape scene was such a bad represent of Afghanistan.
I hope no afghan would write such a thing from now on………..
otherwise it was a very interesting and emotional novel.

Ronjo - March 11, 2010

On the contrary, rape is considered the biggest insult in most middle eastern countries. It happens.

19. supergirl - January 13, 2008

Rape neither misreprensents Afghanistan nor represents it. In fact rape is more common in many cultures than people realize, but ofcourse it’s not the point of the book. There are so many things someone can take away from this book. I think I truly understand the aspect of relationships, guilt, self sacrifice and well how to be a human being, the fact of life is we all make mistakes, but how do we move on? I had to read this book for school and I thought I would hate it but I couldn’t put it down. I would reccomend this book to both adults and youths.

20. halina - March 22, 2009

I have already read this book over summer time .
but now I have to read it for my school and write an easy about it.
actually I’m glad that now an afghani writer is that famous that his book is listed as one of the indepentden study book.
The book is actually really nice and it is very emotional.
but I wish he was not that racist in his book I mean for genration like me who havn’t seen there country for year would belive it some how till my parents told me it is not very true .
it is getting famous is it is abvous because they always think that in those thrid world coutries it is always like this and too mcuh violence which is not the truth.but I wish he didn’t mentioned the rape seen and some other staff .like I would be embarss infront of my classmates for the picture that they will get from Afghanistan .

21. billy cop - May 20, 2009

hi

22. Susanna - December 12, 2009

Can someone explains to me the relationships the woman had to the male characters??

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