The Kite Runner Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Kite Runner

   This story is about a man named Amir, who tells the tale of his life, beginning with his innocent days as a young, wealthy boy, who enjoyed playing with his servant's son, Hassan. The two are the best of friends, although Amir often regrets admitting it, as Hassan is much lower in status.
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   The story builds a foundation on the fact that Amir is constantly vying for his proud, headstrong father's affections. Sometimes he even feels as though he has not come from his father's blood, because of his lack of courage and pride.
   One day, during an annual kite-flying competition, Amir manages to make his father extremely proud by winning. All he must do is retrieve the loser's kite, which is Hassan's job. Hassan, a faithful servant to Amir, does everything in his power to capture the kite. When Hassan doesn't return from his kite hunt, Amir goes out to look for him, only to find that Hassan is in big trouble with the rich village bullies in the middle of a dark alley. Rather than jump out and defend Hassan, as Amir's father would have done at his age, Amir hides out and witnesses the nightmare Hassan must deal with for the rest of his life.
   After encountering the horrible event that took place in that alley, and feeling very uncomfortable about it, Amir selfishly finds a way to get rid of Hassan and his servant father from the house.
   For the rest of his life, from his tragic flee out of Kabul as a teenager, to his impoverished struggle as an immigrant in America, Amir searches for a way to save himself.
The review of this Book prepared by Priyanka Bhandari

Amir, the son of a successful Pashtun businessman, lives a comfortable life in Kabul, Afghanistan in the early 1970s. His best friend is Hassan, a year younger and the son of a servant, who is like a brother to Amir but still a member of the despised Hazara minority (descendants of the Mongols and Shi'a Muslims). The boys' favorite sport is kite fighting, which takes place every winter. Amir competes in the contest where boys use razor-sharp kite lines to sever one another's lines, and Hassan is the best in the city at running and retrieving fallen kites.

The two boys reach a turning point in 1975 when the neighborhood bully Assef savages Hassan (after the servant boy had defended Amir from the bullies) and Amir does nothing. The guilt for that betrayal, as well as Amir's troubled relationship with his father Baba, will rule his life for the next 20 years.

The Russian army invades Afghanistan and drives Amir's family over the border to Pakistan. Eventually they make their way to Fremont, California to make a new life. But in December of 2001 a phone call out of the past summons Amir back to Pakistan, and then Kabul itself, now under the crushing rule of the Taliban, to discover long-buried secrets and make amends with his guilty conscience.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Amir lives a charmed life in a wealthy neighborhood in 1960's Kabul. He shares the joys of boyhood with his best friend, Hassan, the son of the family servant who is more like a brother to Amir, and their favorite pasttime is summer kite fighting. But Hassan is a despised racial minority in Afghanistan and when Amir betrays Hassan to the neighborhood bully, his guilt sets the rest of his life on a new course, constantly seeking redemption for his own weakness. When the Soviets invade Russia, Amir and his father flee for the United States where Amir marries and begins a writing career. He is never fully able to forget his betrayal of Hassan and, when his father's business partner in Pakistan sends a deathbed summons for him, Amir returns to Kabul for a last chance to find absolution.
The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer Martin-Romme

Chapter Analysis of The Kite Runner

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Arab/Muslim Other aspects:    -   best friends Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Arab


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Arabia    -   The 'stans

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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