The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Spoiler Page

Stop here.  If you have not read The Kite Runner please read no further.  This page is for those of us who have read the Kite Runner and wish to discuss it deeper than what can be said on a review page.

That being said….

I have to know how angry were all of you when Hassan was raped?  I was so saddened for him and furious with Amir.  I know, he was young and cowardly and maybe I could have forgiven the fact that he didn’t do anything at the moment, knowing full well he would have been hurt as well –

but to never say anything?  Never?
I am a little fired up about this and not that I am angry at the author, as this is truly the center of The Kite Runner.  This one horrible act is where all other ties are bound in this book.  But I can be mad at a character.  And even at the end of the book, even after all Amir did for Hassan’s son… I am still a bit angry.   And maybe, I am supposed to be.  Doesn’t a really good book do that?

My favorite character was easily Hassan.  The boy had a heart of gold.  Even when Amir tore him down, Hassan was still his friend.  My heart wept for him.  Loyal to the end.

Please share your thoughts here and feel free to bring up other parts of the book.  I will gladly chat this out with you.  I would love to hear your thoughts – likes and dislikes of the book.


  1. I have to say I never read this whole book. I got to that part and perhaps a bit further – I think they were all in a truck on their way out of the country when I stopped reading. I just couldn’t go on. I’m sure I should have, but that scene turned me off from Amir so much that I didn’t even care what happened to him in the end. I was making myself read the book because of all the praise I had heard for it. And I decided that wasn’t a good enough reason to read a book. I guess I’ll never understand why it gets such glowing reviews since I don’t think I’ll ever read the second half of it. Even you seem to have liked the book. Is the second half really that good?

    • Julie, that part really was a down turn in Amir’s life because I totally lost respect for him – probably more so after he did the money from his birthday and blamed Hassan for taking it.

      I keep imaging poor Hassan having his best friend turn on him one day and he never knows why. Amir never tells Hassan that he seen what happened. I imagine Hassan through the years wondering why his friend suddenly hated him.

      In reality I have to look at this as Amir’s own self loathing that made him do it. Every time he seen Hassan, he was a memory of what a terrible friend he was and he couldn’t have that constant reminder.

      The fact that Hassan turned out later to be his brother was more salt in the wound that never healed.

      Definitely an emotionally hard read.

  2. My heart was broken for both boys during the rape scene. They were confronted in that moment with a moral and character defining conundrum that few adults (especially in our coddled Western WASPish culture) have ever been subject to and most would fail miserably.

    That being said. I too, was very disappointed with Amir for choosing to remain silent indefinitely which led to him choosing to distance himself (his heart) from Hassan which fed the shame that led to him choosing to frame Hassan thus forcing his father to leave his family’s service which broke Amir’s father’s heart as this removed his eldest (unacknowledged) son from his life which goes to show what a devastation a shameful family secret can wreak for generations beyond the acts of the individuals involved. It could be said that the secrecy was more damaging and thus more damning than the original ‘sin’.

    Beyond this I have more questions than definitive statements regarding this story as the multiple dynamics are like a dance and the reader/listener reaction puts up a facing mirror that creates an endless vortex of reaction/counter-reaction and that’s before you add in multiple audience member’s sharing their reactions among themselves.

    A few of my questions:

    To what extent is our anger at Amir created by the narrator’s own anger and shame with his younger self?

    To what extent is Amir’s father to blame for creating the dynamic between his two sons that led to the tragedy? I ask because I wonder if Amir would have been as insecure in his sense of his father’s esteem and love if he had known Hassan was his half-brother by blood? And sans secrecy and shame would the father’s behaviors towards the two boys still have been so obnoxiously uneven which was one of the triggers of Amir’s jealously and insecurity that were the motive behind his betrayal?

    But of course, without an egregious and shocking act of betrayal on the part of the protagonist the story would not have the one of the ultimate power of love to heal and redeem that it is for how can we (or Amir himself) condemn Amir when his ‘victim’ Hassan did not, would not and would never hear of it?

    Which BTW leads me to ask, to what extent is Hassan a Christ figure? His goodness and purity of spirit seemed to be of a kind and his sacrifices (both the rape and the betrayal incited exile) were explicitly willing and free of bitterness on his part. His love for Amir seemed unmovable and incorruptible.

    To what extent does Amir’s raising in his culture at that time create the attitude that fed his willingness to betray his friend? Included for consideration must be the fact his country had been at war and under the occupation of a foreign power his entire life which led to his witnessing of many injustices that were not rectified by the adults whose role in a peaceful society it would be to establish those boundaries and emulate such character?

    And to what extent did Amir’s sense of entitlement as the son of a local powerbroker and rich upperclass father and the isolation from his father and his community this created contribute to his weakness of character in the defining moment? Would he have been so desperate for his father’s approval if he and his father had not lived in a large multiple floor, many-roomed house with doors shut between them much of the time?

    Which leads to the question: How much did Hassan’s loving and close relationship in close quarters with a a father who tho poor, politically powerless, crippled and of a culturally despised race was adoring, dependable and morally sturdy have on his ability at such a young age to survive such devastating injustices as the rape and ultimate betrayal by his beloved friend with his spirit intact?

    Who among us could swear that we would fare as well under similar duress?

    Tho I could go on and on here I will ask only one more: Would Amir have found it so easy to betray Hassan if his culture, with the apparent approval of his own father had not esteemed Hassan’s people as ethnically and racially less-than their own to the point of validating a sense that they were not quite as human?

    >>>>>>>>>

    Hmmm. I’ve put more time and words into these two comments than I do most of my posts and surprised myself by being able to discuss a book intelligibly which I read over a year ago without it sitting beside me or rereading a single page. Maybe I should give that a try with some others… Meanwhile I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to snag these two comments for a post. :)

    Just pasted the above into my note ap and found it’s over 800 words. Hoping that’s not a blog commenting faux pas.

    • Joy – wonderfully deep questions! I hope more people join into this discussion. I would love to hear other opinions as well.

      (As I am reading your questions I am sitting here thinking, “Yes! Yes, what if? And why?” )

  3. Thought you might like to know I posted my own ‘review’ based on the comments I left on your two posts. It covers pretty much the same territory though I did somehow manage to expand a little over 1000 words into over 2200l Which I’m not sure is necessarily a plus. *sigh*

    • Hi Joy Renee, it showed up in my Google Alert this morning. I liked your comments and questions and left a comment on your page too. I am glad to see that the book still holds such passion even though you read it a while back. :)

  4. For you, a thousand times over. ‘Hassan or His Son did not in any f**ing way deserve that,,, Aseef The one eyed bastard! He is lucky coz he doesn’t exist, if he did i swear i will kill him myself. The book looked real. For Hassan, a Million times over.

  1. Pingback: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini « One Persons Journey through a world of Books

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