The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: This came to me highly recommended. That is, the “OMG THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD” sort of highly recommended. But you know, I wasn’t all that impressed with it. The bits and pieces of Afghan culture that shone through now and then were interesting, but really it was just your standard tale of betrayal, guilt, and redemption. Pretty predictable, all in all. I’m not saying it wasn’t well-written, just that it didn’t really grab me. Part of this problem may be due to listening to it on audiobook, which was read by the author. Some people believe that authors are the ideal choice for narrators, but I disagree. Sure, the author may know best how the characters are supposed to sound, but that doesn’t mean s/he can reproduce them. Not everyone is a good voice actor, and Hosseini, for all his talent as a writer, most certainly is not. I’d say I’d consider reading the printed version at some point to give it a second chance, but I’m sure I’d still only be able to hear his monotone voice in my head. A shame, because with the right narrator I’m sure this could have been a very moving tale.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t like The Kite Runner. I’m not sure I could say I liked it (that seems a big morbid), but it definitely made me think. My aunt described it as a book that tears out your heart and throws acid on the gaping hole. I, too, enjoyed the Afghan culture and history references (but that’s the history teacher in me). I share a lot of your same feelings about narrators on audio books- just because you can write doesn’t mean I want to hear you read. And the narrator can make or break a book for you.

  2. I’ve this novel sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
    It’s been there nearly 12 months. I received it as an RABCK and keep telling myself I’ll get to it. I mean, everyone I know has read this book and yet I cant seem to get myself interested in it enough to pull it off the shelf…
    Not exactly a good start!
    I’m contemplating adding it to my Spring Reading List.
    We’ll see.
    Perhaps I should Wild Release it?
    (Your review will no doubt help in the decision)
    ~S.

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