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The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
by Juan de Dios Chamorro de la Orden (Avanzado 2, 2010-11)

The Kite RunnerYou might know that there are several ethnic groups in Afghanistan but, are you aware of the racism which exists there? I certainly didn't until I read Khaled Hosseini's first novel.

This outstanding story, the first novel written in English by an Afghan, focuses on the relationship between two Afghan boys, Amir and Hassan. Amir is a Pashtun and the son of one of the most powerful men in Kabul and Hassan is a Hazara and he works as a servant for Amir's father. Amir, who dreams of being a writer, runs away to America because of his behaviour with his loyal friend, Hassan. The story begins when Amir receives a call from Amir's father's best friend, Rahim Khan, asking him to come back to his homeland and offering him a chance to live in peace.

After that, the writer starts describing how these two boys grew up together, the differences between these two ethnic groups and the problems which they have to struggle against. The author also writes about the relationship between fathers and sons, and about loyalty, the price of war, and the rigid system which Afghans have to bear, the Taliban regime.

The Kite Runner is both entertaining and educational and the fact that Khaled Hosseini has sold more than four million copies in the United States is enough to say that this novel is a must-read.