I was determined to read this book before watching the movie, and now that I’ve finished it, it’s hard to believe that a film version could live up to the written piece.  Much of The Kite Runner is set against the backdrop of a poverty-stricken and oppressive Afghanistan – a picture so devastating that I want to believe it was exaggerated for the sake of drama.  But the more I look into the power and practices of the Taliban movement, the more I fear that the scene set in this story isn’t too far removed from what so many Afghans have experienced.  It’s horrific.  Sickening, really.

But as a counterpoint the devastation his country has seen, the author brings to light the beauty that can be found in the Afghan culture and family traditions.  Of course, I should be wary of relying on fictitious novels as a reliable source for actual events and customs, but I do believe this book offered a glimpse into a side of Afghan life that I otherwise never would have experienced.  A good read.  Sad, to say the least, but intertwined with just the faintest glimmer of hope.