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vagansmom, March 30, 2005 in General Reading and Literature
Great book! Any comments?
Would you like to elaborate, vagansmom?
Awwww, you beat me to it! I was just planning on reviving this forum with this very book!
I really liked it. I loved being introduced to a new culture, especially through the eyes of a child. But mostly, I liked the development of the central character, and how we get to see how the events of his childhood create the man. There are so many fascinating relationships in this book.
The ending is perhaps a bit melodramatic -- and yet, perhaps inevitable.
A group of friends of mine in Israel, mainly junior lecturers in Middle Eastern history and political science, just read this book for their book-club and they were really impressed. (I'm a couple of years behind the times - I'm only now 'reading' The Da Vinci Code - so I'll let you know what I think in 2007).
I read it on my recent trip and loved it, tho' I thought it dragged a tad in the middle. The plot was full of surprises and I fell for every one of them. It's been a long time since I've read a book that had me gasping in surprise; lots of fun.
I also read it just recently (it was given to me by one of my passengers on a flight). It took two one hour and thirty minute flights to finish. It did drag in the middle, but I felt tied to the book, in a way, and wanted to finish the story.
When I first read the back of it, I thought, oh, I don't want to read anything about Afghanistan anymore (just reading news accounts). But, I found it intruiging. The book was an emotional heavy for me, but a good read.
It's been a little while now since I read it, but although I've forgotten some of the plot, what I still remember vividly is how well that book evoked an array of tastes, textures, and scents in me. I still can call them up almost instantly. The other overwhelming memory I have is that of kite running; I was easily able to conjure up images in my mind of what it looked and felt like to participate. It's made me long to find that Afghan community in CA who holds a kite-running competition there. How I'd love to see it! (I've been dying to use this smilie too).
An interesting but tidbit: I read that the sense of smell is the only sense that bypasses the thalamus (essentially a message relay system in the brain) but instead goes straight to the region that stores it as memory. It's that important to our species' survival, I guess. It explains why I can still, 45 years later, remember vividly the smell of my first box of crayons in kindergarten!
What's so fascinating to me is how The Kite Runner was able to summon up scents that, in some cases, I never actually smelled but only imagined based on what little I've experienced of Eastern spices. Besides the actual theme of cowardice, redemption, and flawed humans, the vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, and senses the author provided held my attention right to the end.
Did anyone else have that experience?
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