The book was better than the movie. That's what we always hear.
Well, I don't think I'll ever know. Because after reading the book, I'm not sure I ever want to see the movie.
Which was the original reason I read The Kite Runner. I saw the movie at the rental store. Read the back. Saw "based on the novel." Decided to read the book first.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I read The Kite Runner. I think.
It is "about" Afghanistan. And really, how much do we know about that country, its people and culture? Even with all the current events and our history with this country, we know so little about it. Most of us know more about Japan, China, Russia, and Australia than we do about any Middle East country.
The Kite Runner tells the tale of the friendship between two young boys, told in a style that spoke to me like fact. Woven through the story are themes of loyalty, betrayal, and guilt.
We are used to thinking of main characters as heroes. And heroes always do the right thing. But not Khaled Hosseini's hero.
Living with the guilt of betrayal, Amir, the book's main character, spends most of his life thinking about how things could have been different had he had done the right thing.
An amazing look at Afghan culture, The Kite Runner makes us wonder if there is ever a way to make up for past wrongs. Given the chance, can you really change things? Can you make amends for the sins of your past?
I've said before that a good book is one that you want to read over and over again. And the book loses nothing with repeat readings. This of course, is a working definition. The Kite Runner was an amazing book. But one full of graphic, heart-wrenching stories and details. It is too painful and emotional for me to want to read again.
And I don't think I'll ever choose to find out if the book was better than the movie.