I am skeptical of reading books by non-English speaking authors. Very few authors only impressed me. R.K.Narayan is a giant among them all. Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is an exceptionally good novel. It touched my heart beyond comparision. The setting up of God’s own country as a back drop for the novel, the intelligent mixing of native Malayali characters with their rich culture, the double crossing politicians and the final act of forbidden sex made the novel interesting read to the end.
Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is another novel that mesmerized me. Though it got rave reviews I resisted reading it for a long time. Finally when no other book took my attention The Kite Runner invited me from The Eloor Library shelf and I took a risk. When I was in to the second chapter I was completely drawn into it. If any book fails to hold my attention with in first ten pages I would eventually abandon it. Set in Afghanistan the story depicts the country from their monarch days to Soviet invasion till and subsequent talibanisation through the eyes of protagonist. The brutalization of the society after the Taliban took over sends shock waves when you read it.
However towards the end the story revert back to ordinary melodramatic novel with predictable situations. The inner conflict the protagonist undergoes when he witnessed the crime done to his childhood friend and his subsequent inaction torments him through out his life. That conflict and his hunger for redemption alone set the novel apart till the end.
Very good read after a long time.
In ''The Kite Runner,'' Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence -- forces that continue to threaten them even today.—New York Times
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