Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week: Review Repost of The Kite Runner

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.  ~Heinrich Heine, Almansor, 1823
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini  

This is an atypical review and could be classified more as a musing. It is also an examination of the personal experience of reading a powerful story. Not just as a reader but as a writer who aspires to write stories of equal power and artistic excellence.

A bare bones summary of the story: Two Afghanistan boys, Amir and Hassan, have been best friends since infancy although Hassan and his father are servants to Amir's family. As the story opens in the 1970s they are entering puberty as their country faces invasion and are about to face the ultimate test of their love for each other. One of them, Amir who is the narrator and protagonist of this Bildungsroman fails the test in a most egregiously shameful way and by his acts they are torn from each other's lives forever. These events shape Amir's life and the resulting shame and guilt shape his relationships and his psyche over the next two decades. And then out of the blue he is asked to perform a task for Hassan that has the potential power of redeeming his earlier betrayal a task that requires leaving his physically (if not emotionally) comfortable life in America to return to a now Taliban ruled Afghanistan for the first time since his late teens and rescue the one thing more precious to Hassan than their friendship had been.  Read more...

[For these BBW review reposts this week I'm posting only excerpts with a 'read more' link to the original post.  This partly to keep any possible discussion in one place but partly because my reviews tend to ramble long, go on tangents and focus more on my relationship to the book than the book itself.]

The banning or challenging of a book by a native of Afghanistan in America today is the height of bitter irony and shameful hubris as our own sons and daughters fight over there ostensibly to remove their book burners from power.

Just saying.

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.  ~Claude-Adrien Helvétius

Here are a few bookish events going on for BBW:

Hosted by Bookjourney

Get on the BANNED WAGON!

Giveaways, a scavenger hunt and links to participating blog's BBW reviews are some of what's happening at Sheila's BookJourney this week.  Along with her own reviews of banned or challenged books and of course her daily Morning Meanerings post.

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Banned Books Week Hop

Giveaways galore and lots of participating blog's to visit and comment on.

Banned Book Week Virtual Read Out

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out

The annual BBW readout traditionally conducted in public at bookstores and libraries where individuals read aloud form a banned book has now gone digital. Now you can video record yourself reading a banned book and upload to a YouTube channel


“Only the suppressed word is dangerous.”—Ludwig Börne

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