This will be a short review. I have nothing to say about Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner that hasn't been said before by thousands of others. It's a good book, I enjoyed it, and I don't regret paying full price for my own copy at my brother's urging rather than going to the library like I'd originally planned. I do, however, feel a little like I've been a victim of the hype. It's beautiful, poignant, sad but uplifting, and very well written, but I also found it very formulaic. At it's core, as a literary novel it's pretty much the same old, same old. It's a classic tale of family and redemption, and while it's in a different setting than I'm used to, it's still the same old, same old. Once I'd established that it's the kind of novel in which the MC is bombarded by tragedy after calamity after tragedy, it became easy to predict what kind of tragedy/calamity was coming next. I was wrong only once.
It's quality writing and storytelling and I'm glad my brother recommended it to me, but I wasn't blown away like I wanted to be. This sounds a little negative. It's not meant to. I've already bought two more Hosseini books on the strength of my enjoyment of this one. The imagery is darn near tangible, the character feel like real people, and the emotion feels genuine. I actually loved it, just not as much as my brother wanted me to. Sorry, bro.