The Kite Runner is a novel written by Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003, and has since sold over seven million copies in the United States alone. It has 324 pages.
The story focuses on Amir, a young boy from the privileged class of Kabul, and his servant and friend Hassan, a Hazara boy. The novel begins with an incident where Amir deliberately lets a kite that belongs to Hassan be hit by a rival kite-flying gang, leading to Hassan’s public beating and preventing him from keeping up with his chores around the house. Amir must then decide whether he will apologize for his actions or continue to ignore Hassan. The rest of the novel follows the aftermath of this incident as well as Amir’s attempts at redemption for abandoning Hassan at such a crucial time in his life.
The novel is set against the backdrop of the Soviet-Afghan War and the subsequent civil war in Afghanistan. Much of the plot is driven by Amir’s desire to right what he sees as his wrongs, but he struggles to make amends for his mistake because he believes that no one will believe him if he tells them what truly happened.
The Kite Runner was adapted into a film in 2007. The film was made by Marc Forster and received generally positive reviews. Many critics liked the film’s treatment of the story and Hosseini’s message about the friendship between people from different cultures.