Amir, a wealthy boy, and Hassan, the family’s servant, share a love of kite fighting in the city of Kabul. Hassan is Amir’s valued ‘kite runner’; he knows where the kite will land before it has even started its descent. Amir’s father, a wealthy Afghanistan man, lovingly known as Baba, is devoted to his son and Hassan, but often criticises Amir, deeming him as feeble and cowardly. Rahim Khan, his father’s closest friend, recognises Amir’s need to be understood and acts as the benevolent father figure that Amir craves so desperately.
Other local boys mock Amir for socialising with a Hazara, who they believe are an inferior race that should be banished to Hazarajat. One boy in particular, with a sadistic taste for violence, sets against Amir with his brass knuckles, but before the fight begins Hassan jumps in to Amir’s defence, threatening Assef with his beloved slingshot. As Assef cowers away he swears to get revenge on the boys sooner or later.
A remarkable and touching story of the friendship and secrets between a wealthy Pashtun boy and the son of his father’s Hazara, The Kite Runner is an incredible novel set in a country that is in distress. It touches themes of betrayal, possible redemption and explores the power of loyalty and family.