The Kite Runner is a 2003 drama and fictional novel written by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini’s first and most acclaimed piece, The Kite Runner is a heartwarming story of friendship, love, devotion, betrayal, war and redemption. It is a story about Amir and Hassan, two boys growing up in close proximity to each other in Kabul, Afghanistan and their childhood and separation amidst escalating danger in the hazardous backdrop of Afghanistan.
Amir is the son of a rich Pashtun and Hassan is the son of his father’s Hazara servant. Hassan exhibits loyalty and respect towards Amir, stands up to bullies for him and never denies him his wishes, but on the contrary, Amir has been often rude and resentful towards Hassan. Raised in the same household, the boys spend their childhood together and their relationship is beyond friendship, and more like a brotherhood. They are each other’s playmates and grow up flying kites, watching movies and reading stories together until on one fateful day marred by betrayal and cowardice their friendship is torn apart. War further pits them apart and creates a long distance between them. Years later, realization crashes down on Amir, who now is residing with his wife in America and his past crawls back to haunt him. Guilt ridden and with the knowledge that responsibility is burdened on his shoulders, Amir sets off on a brave and heroic mission back in his homeland in search of redemption and justice and to right his wrongs.
A New York Times bestseller for over two years, The Kite Runner opened to positive reviews from both critics and readers and was critically acclaimed and financially successful with over seven million copies sold across the United States. Author Khaled Hosseini’s talent and knack for storytelling drew admiration from all over the world. He used compelling characters to showcase a difficult scenario in a war hit Afghanistan to write a gripping, suspenseful, tragic and heartbreaking novel. This agonizing tale of friendship, love and betrayal drops realization in us that we should appreciate the ones who are dear and committed to us before it is too late and reciprocate the same behaviour that we are blessed with by them.
A number of adaptations were created following publication, including a 2007 film of the same name, several stage performances, and a graphic novel. In 2007, The Kite Runner was followed his next book A Thousand Splendid Suns.