The Kite Runner

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini (Afghanistan) 

Review

For most of the group, it was their second time reading this book and all except one reader really enjoyed it. They were captured by the story of the two boys, Amir and Hassan, and loved the passages that develop the relationship between them. They found that the descriptions brought the scenes to life and they were able to visualize them with ease, if at times also with a lot of discomfort. They enjoyed the development of the relationship between Amir and his father, from his childhood until his father’s death in the U.S. They warmed to some of the secondary characters, such as Rahim Khan, Soraya and Farid; and they felt that Assef, although a caricature of evilness, was well portrayed. The one reader who didn’t enjoy the book found the characters flawed and felt that the story had too many clichés making the events seem somewhat implausible at times. Overall, the book averaged an 8.4 out of 10.

The theme this season is “Book to Film Adaptations”. The film adaptation, released in 2007, was directed by Marc Forster. It was nominated for the Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. The film’s score by Alberto Iglesias was nominated for Best Original Score at both the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. Compared to the book, the film felt somewhat superficial with a number of important scenes missing from it. As a result, it wasn’t as easy to get a good understanding about the people and places. However, this aside, they loved the musical score and found the scenery beautiful. They felt the cast was really well chosen, and they loved the kite flying and the wedding scenes. They agreed that the film was a good adaptation of the book, but they would definitely recommend reading the book for a fuller picture of this tragic tale.

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him – for he always helps Amir – but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street… Read more

Season 12 – “Book to Film Adaptations” (Sep 2010 – Jan 2011)

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini (Afghanistan)
“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd (U.S.)
“Before Night Falls” by Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba)
“Brick Lane” by Monica Ali (U.K.)
“Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee (South Africa) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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