So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to put it down at night when it was my bed time.
Kite Runner, I started over a long weekend and could not for the life of me put it down. I was so hooked I even found myself reading Bing’s copy when I was over at Deesh and Bing’s this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez Geek one of the 3 new things this week).
The Kite Runner. Must be the most disturbing, haunting book I’ve yet to read. The close seconds would be A Child Called It and Night. They both broke my heart but not in the way Kite Runner did. I was in tears maybe four separate times during the past two days it took me to finish the novel. A coming of age story with pre–war Afganhistan and the post-Taliban arrival as the backdrop of the story.
I tend to take note of books I know my dad will enjoy and as I read them I jot down notes on post its for my dad and flag the relevant pages. I flagged the story about Amir and Hassen tying bumble bees with string and letting them fly a bit before yanking them back. My dad used to do exactly the same thing to dragonflies when he was younger growing up in Vietnam. Then as I got deeper and deeper into the book and found myself tearing up, I started to doubt whether my dad, a vet would enjoy going down memory lane. I took breaks and called Mary Ellen to relay the story and basically to pull me out a little. Relief.
The refugee stories seem to make vivid my parents’ stories post Vietnam.
I kept imagining I was reading about my dad. Funny how war is pretty much the same no matter where it is. I usually don’t read war books so this is somewhat new to me. Before Kite Runner, the only books I’ve read with war in the background were Anne Frank’s diary, The Hiding Place, and Night. All heart breaking in their own respect but I never felt so invested in events unfolding with each turn of the page as I did with Kite Runner.
So aside from making me cry so easily, Hosseini also managed to make me laugh several times out loud. One scene when Amir, in such a detached manner, thinks to himself as someone is experiencing an eye injury, “Oh that’s vitreous fluid.. I read about that, that’s vitreous fluid.” I used to work for an ophthalmologist.
So here are a few quotes I jotted down into my reading journal…
“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft..”
“If there’s a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking Scotch or eating pork.”
“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.”
“We plucked the stinger off a bee and tied a string around the poor thing and yanked it back every time it took flight.”
“John Wayne didn’t really speak Farsi and he wasn’t Iranian.”
“And the beggars were mostly children now, thin and grim-faced, some no older than five or six. They sat in the laps of their burque-clad mothers alongside gutters at busy street corners… Hardly any of them sat with an adult male- the war had made fathers a rare commodity in Afghanistan.”
“Returning to Kabul was like running into an old, forgotten friend, and seeing that life hadn’t been good to him, that he’d become homeless and destitute.”
‘I’m so afraid…. Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening. They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.”
I wrote the last one down because that’s how I feel when I feel very happy. I get extra wary of freak accidents.
“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”