Khaled Hosseini: The Wizard of Literature

This year, for my birthday, I got myself a gift I had been anticipating for a long, long time: The Complete Khaled Hosseini Box Set from Bloomsbury. The Box arrived on my birthday, and I delved into the pleasure of reading them the very next day. A month and three books later, I realized that I had been hiding from the truth for a very long time, and the world is utterly cruel and we are nothing but puppets playing our roles on the stage of life, as Shakespeare rightly put it. This post is full of love for this magical writer and the effect his books on me.

  • The Kite Runner:
  • “For you, a thousand times over.”

    This book follows Amir, an ethnic Pashtun in Afghanistan and his relationship with Hassan, a Hazara who works as a servant in his house. They both share a deep bond no less than brotherhood, but this innocent love falls prey to Amir’s insecurity about his father and a desire to be his ‘true’ son. After an incident which changes their lives forever, the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and Baba flee to the United States. Years later, Amir returns to Afghanistan to seek redemption from his selfish deeds, but will he be able to do so?

    Verdict: Hosseini’s debut doesn’t feel like one. The way unconditional love, brotherhood, insecurity, redemption, marriage, understanding, regret, and at last, happiness is expressed is truly commendable. This book had me crying at a lot of places and Amir’s dilemma over his decisions is bound to leave the readers thinking. The Kite Runner was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. Hosseini proves that he is a master story-teller in his very first work, and shows the true face of human nature: Greedy, Uncanny, Unaware, and the strong presence of Survivor’s Guilt.


    2. A Thousand Splendid Suns:

    One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,

    Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.

    A Thousand Splendid Suns revolves around the lives of two ladies in the disturbed Afghanistan. The book is divided in four parts: The first explores Mariam, the second Laila, the third focuses on the relationship blooming between the two and the fourth is Laila’s life after she manages to leave Afghanistan with Mariam’s help and ultimate sacrifice. I won’t reveal any more story here because you deserve to be surprised with the crisp plot and narrative style!

    Verdict: If you ask me if this one is as good as The Kite Runner, here’s the answer: no, only better.

    One thing which sets the book apart from many others that I have read is its narrative. I had never thought that a third person narrative could have so many variations and could never lose the reader in between. Hosseini has put all his magic in to produce a bewitching tale celebrating the women of Afghanistan: Everyone a Laila or a Mariam. I could re-read this book a thousand times and would never not get impressed. If I would ever create a Top-5 List of Books for me, this one won’t be forgotten. ❤


    3. And The Mountains Echoed:

    Out beyond ideas
    of wrongdoing and right doing,
    there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there.”

    This one is unique. Unique, different, and surprising. The book is divided in nine chapters: each from a different character’s perspective. The book comes back to the interlinked life of two Afghan siblings torn apart: Abdullah and Pari. Read this book to be awed by Hosseini’s enthralling power of story-telling yet again, bound by two words in the end: Abdullah and Pari.

    Verdict: Hosseini never fails to surprise! Reading this book was more like reading a collection of interlinked short-stories. This piece has elements of a rainbow of emotions, all essential to the book. This one required a lot of patience and understanding from my side to keep up with the changing narratives and character sketches, but all of it was worth it!


    At the end, if you’re at a  loss of what to read next, then look nowhere and grab Hosseini’s works! And yes, keep a bunch of tissues handy, advice from personal experience!