The Kite Runner is a very famous novel written by Khaled Hosseini. The novel was published in 2003 and has been insanely popular since then. The story talks about an uncommon friendship that stayed forever. The themes of guilt and loss make the story even more heart-touching.
Summary Of The Kite Runner Book. Kite Runner Summary By Chapter
The Kite Runner begins in December 2001 with the anonymous narrator describing his experience; he is eventually identified as Amir. He remembers something that happened in 1975 when he was still a child living in Afghanistan. Even though he keeps quiet about what happened at the time, it is clear that the event impacted both him and his life. He claims to have received a call from an acquaintance in Pakistan, Rahim Khan, asking him to visit. He observes the kites flying as he strolls through the streets of his current residence, San Francisco. He also refers to Hassan, a former friend who had a cleft lip, as a “Kite Runner” and recalls their time together, how they would play and have fun climbing trees, shooting small stones or walnuts at the dog of their neighbor through a slingshot or reflecting the sunlight into the neighbor’s window with the help of mirrors. Though it would be Amir who suggested all these mischievous activities, Hassan would always take the blame.
He then talks about his family and introduces Baba, his father, with whom he lived in a rich household. Outside their home, Hassan lived in a small hut with his father Ali who was Baba’s helper. Both of them didn’t have a mother. He also told that Hassan and his father were Hazara who were not really welcomed in their society. Amir really loved and respected his Baba but sometimes got irritated when he praised Hassan more. He also told how he had better relations with his father’s friend Rahim Khan as he was always there for him when his father ignored him. He recalls an incident when he was walking with Hassan on the streets and encountered three boys Assef, Kamal, and Wali where Assef had a deep hatred for Hazaras. He warns Amir against Hassan and advised him not to be friends with him. They tried to fight with Amir but Hassan threatened them with a stone and all three ran away.
He remembers when Baba helped Hassan with surgery for his cleft lip and how he got jealous. Time suddenly shifted to the winters that are absolutely loved by Amir as schools were closed and everyone just flew kites all day. He also talks about the kite tournaments that took place during that time and explains about the kite runners who would run and chase the kites of the other players. One day when they were participating in such a tournament, Amir realized that he must win to make his father happy. He cut the last kite and won which made both him and his father happy and Hassan was even dancing for his win. Hassan then went to bring that last kite but didn’t return for a long time. He too left to look for him when he found the same three boys Assef, Kamal, and Wali surrounding Hassan who was still holding that kite. They started beating Hassan but Amir still didn’t interrupt. Then, the boys pulled Hassan’s pants down and Assef raped him.
Later, both Hassan and Amir returned home and pretend as if nothing has happened. Hassan then shut himself in his room for a few days after the incident. Amir went on a trip with his father and Hassan got normal again when they returned but now Amir kept his distance from him as he was getting closer to his father. He also remembered when Baba threw a huge birthday party for him and Assef was one of the guests there. Amir was irritated by him and left his own party and sat in a quiet place. He then told Rahim Khan about the whole incident that took place with Hassan. The next day, he was determined that either he or Hassan would stay in this house so he planned to hide the watch that Baba gifted him for his birthday at Hassan’s house and complained to his father that Hassan stole it. Baba then called both of them and asked Hassan if he stole the watch to which he replied yes. Hassan knew that it was Amir who placed the watch but still took the blame. Amir was surprised when Baba forgave Hassan.
However, both Ali and Hassan left their home after this incident. Baba was broken and it was the first time when Amir saw his father crying. The story now jumps to 1981 when Amir and Baba had to leave Afghanistan and move to Pakistan as Afghanistan was now under the control of the communists of Afghan and occupied by the Soviets. Later, they shifted to California where it was difficult for them to adjust. Still, Baba insisted on staying here for Amir as he was worried that he won’t reach anywhere in Pakistan. Baba worked hard there for him and finally when Amir graduated, Baba remembered Hassan and how great it would be if he was there. He then met Soraya, his father’s friend’s daughter there, and started showing interest in her. Later, they find out that Baba was suffering from lung cancer but to make the situation worse, he refused to get treated. Amir married Soraya after some time and Baba passed away about a month after their wedding.
The story then moves back to the present when Rahim Khan called him to return to Pakistan. He then goes to Pakistan to meet him when Rahim told him that he was dying. Rahim told him that he was alone in his house so he went to Hassan to request him and his wife to stay with him. They agreed to live with Rahim Khan with their son Sohrab. He then recalled how one day when he had to leave the house for some work and Talibani soldiers killed Hassan and his wife and Sohrab was sent to an orphanage. Rahim told him that if he really desires redemption then he must go to Kabul and bring back Sohrab. When Amir refused, Rahim Khan told him that Hassan was not the biological son of Ali but his Baba’s. This revelation shattered Amir to his core and he cried. He was now determined to go to Kabul to bring Sohrab back. He saw his destroyed nation and took the help of a driver Farid for his journey. When they reached the orphanage, they found out that Sohrab was taken away by the Taliban officials.
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Later, they went to the place of the Taliban officials and he started talking to their leader. It didn’t take him much time to realize that the leader was none other than Assef himself. He still had the same hatred for Hazaras and refused to send Sohrab back to him even when Amir offered him money. He then started fighting with Assef and became furious when he found that even Sohrab was sexually abused by them. During that brutal fight, Amir’s lip was split open which resembled his to Hassan. When Assef captured him, Sohrab shot a stone into Assef’s eye with his slingshot. Assef fell down because of the injury and the pain and Amir took the chance to run away with Hassan. Amir told Soraya everything on a phone call and she supported his decision to bring Sohrab with him. After some difficult times when Sohrab almost committed suicide as their plan to take Sohrab to America seemed unsuccessful and Amir cried and prayed for his life, they were finally able to bring him to America.
The situations, however, were not that easy as Sohrab didn’t speak or smiled and Amir was worried about him. One rainy day, when Amir and Sohrab went out, they saw kites flying in the sky and he told Sohrab that Hassan was the best Kite Runner. He asked him to fly a kite and Sohrab shyly followed him. They flew the kite and even cut one of the kites which made Sohrab smile just a little but that tiny smile was enough for Amir. He started flying the kite and Amir offered to run it for him when he shouted For You A Thousand Times Over, something Hassan used to say to Amir.
Final Words(The Kite Runner Summary Book)
The Kite Runner is one of the best works of Khaled Hosseini and was a lot appreciated. You can refer to the Summary above to get a detailed explanation of the book and that of the characters included.