What can I say about this book other than meh? I don’t normally read general fiction, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally enjoy it. I had high hopes for The Kite Runner after the rave reviews I’ve heard people give it. Life altering? No. Best book I’ve ever read? Certainly not. Mildly irritating? At points.
To be completely honest, this book left me with a complete feeling of apathy. From the beginning, seeing the little asshat Amir was really killed any sympathy I had with the character. I couldn’t relate to him at all, and therefore didn’t get into his story of redemption. It’s told in the first person, and there are times when he says words in his native tongue, only to tell us the meaning directly after. I can understand that, you need to tell people what you are saying, BUT if you are just going to translate words, why bother putting them in there in the first place? Also, there are times when the story doesn’t really flow believably. For instance, he’s talking to a child in his native tongue (of course we are seeing it in English because . . . well, because it’s dialogue) and then he will say a word for honor in his native tongue, and then translate it to English. I assume the child KNOWS what the word means, and if you are already speaking in your native tongue, why is there a foreign word stuck in there? And then there are points when (for instance) his father is talking, and he says: “he said it was a matter of ihtiram, a matter of respect.” . . . why would you need to translate that word for a person who already knows it? For the reader, that’s why. BUT THEN WHY PUT IT IN THERE? To make us feel more worldly? I understand people who’s primary language isn’t English tend to revert to their native tongue when talking, or when they don’t know a word, but they don’t THEN tell the person they are talking to WHAT the word means! They are using the word because they don’t know the translation. I’ve sat around an Italian table before, listening to friends and their family talk and they would often revert to Italian because they didn’t know the English word, they didn’t then say “you know, dustpan.” -.-
Anyway, rant over. It read fast, so I kept with it. I just wish it had been as amazing as some people say it is. But, that could be me, there are lots of five star reviews for this book, and I didn’t HATE it, but I am certainly glad I bought it on sale. . . .