So Help Me God: A Review of "The Kite Runner"
One hand on the Bible and one hand on my heart, I swear this solemn vow.
If I ever write a novel in which a first-person narrator has life experiences similar to my own, including marrying someone with a name similar to my spouse, I WILL NOT make that first-person narrator an enormously gifted writer. Particularly if my own writing is not that great.
Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" commits this cardinal sin over and over. The narrator's father tells him to "go and read one of those books of yours." (Even as a child, he is such a reader!) His mentor gives him a leather notebook for his stories and urges him to use his godgiven gift (and whispers "Bravo"). His wife-to-be is discovered reading one of his stories: she looks up and says "you never told me you could write like this". Hushed awe from the crowd, please.
It's just so crap. I've never rolled my eyes so often in a novel - Hosseini has a compelling story about Afghanistan to relate, but he tells it mind-numbingly badly. While telling us how brilliant he is. I have to discuss this book in a social book club next month - and it was enthusiastically recommended by a friend of mine. In other words, I'm going to have to play nice. Thank god for the ranting spaces of the internet.