Kite Runner and that other book, too

I'm having a little trouble with Kite Runner. Did anyone else find the writing style, well, undistinguished? Clunky?

For example, he says that spikes of pain battered his knees. I'm sorry, but spikes don't batter. Spikes could stab, though. Or the pain could batter.

I'm also finding the characters one-dimensional and unrealistic.

This is in sad contrast to Atonement, which coincidentally has the identical premise: weak, cowardly young adolescent makes an unfortunate decision that changes the lives of the people around him as well as his own. I'm wondering if Kite Runner got all this hype merely because it takes place in that hot spot, Afghanistan. Because I don't see a whole lot of literary merit in it. (Caveat: I'm about halfway through the book right now. I do intend to finish it.)

I read that other book, you know, the one everyone is reading right now? It was terrific. Every bit as good as The Prisoner of Azkaban, my favorite of the series. Unlike the other long ones, this one was absolutely taut, and very suspenseful. Laugh-out-loud funny in a couple of places, too.


  • I used to be a voracious reader in my other life b4 I worked 2 jobs + mom soooooooooo, what is the book "everyone is reading?" SOrry "kite" is ehh.

    I can't do RSS feeds on my other site, so yes, I posted some goodies over there at SilkenThreads.

    posted by Anonymous SilveMoon on 10:48 AM  

  • oopos I typoed my own site lol.
    Above comment is me

    posted by Anonymous SilverMoon on 10:49 AM  

  • I liked the first 2/3 of Kite Runner. The writing was not great but so many of the details were clearly biographical that I felt I was learning something. The last part was pretty weak, I thought -- way too many coincidences, way too forced, and the writing gets worse.

    posted by Blogger jo(e) on 11:37 AM  

  • Oh, and I was disappointed with the latest Harry Potter book. I missed all the wonderful descriptions and such that made me like her earlier books. I felt so much of it was just deliberately drawn out. Why wouldn't Dumbledore just sit Harry down and tell him everything in one afternoon?

    Hermione is my favorite character and she did not have much of a role in this book, which disappointed me.

    posted by Blogger jo(e) on 11:40 AM  

  • Haven't attempted Kite Runner. LOOOOOVED Harry Potter. Did the whole go to the bookstore at 12 a.m. thing. Borders was totally nuts. We had ticket number 1718 and 1719. At 12:30 only 100 people had been called up to buy their books. We left and checked out Shaman Drum and there were maybe 5 people there and a pile of Harry Potter books. I was home enjoying chapter 1 by 1 in the morning. I wish I had a tenth of JK's ability to tell stories that are exciting, fascinating and for some reason, BELIEVABLE!

    posted by Blogger NixieKnox on 11:41 AM  

  • I like Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price, too. The Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favorite, but I thought the new one was very well-written. Did you catch the part about the time-turners being destroyed at the Ministry of Magic? Otherwise, there would have been a way to prevent Dumbledore's death.

    My book club is reading "The Good Earth" this month.

    posted by Blogger Heather on 12:30 PM  

  • I just began Harry, can't wait to get farther in! Your suppositions about Kite Runner's locale being the draw are exactly what made me decide against reading it for now. I'm glad to hear my choice confirmed. I'm going to have to come back here more often for recommendations--come visit and see mine!

    posted by Anonymous Bluestocking on 5:35 PM  

  • I loved kite runner, thought it lived up to the hype.

    posted by Anonymous eva on 7:09 PM  

  • Jo(e), I totally agree with you about Hermione.

    And Nixie, I'm glad you ended up at Shaman Drum (one of the two remaining independently-owned bookstores in town) instead of the giant corporate -- you know, I've ranted about this before. However, I have no problem buying books books at Target or the grocery store.

    Heather, yeah, I caught that. However, I don't think it matters too much, because I'm quite sure Dumbledore will come back as a ghost.

    Eves, how did you feel about Life of Pi? Did you vote in the poll? If not, would you please? :)

    posted by Blogger Julie on 8:56 PM  

  • And Silvermoon, I knew it was you! :)

    posted by Blogger Julie on 8:56 PM  

  • Hi- Thx for your email. I think of the Harry Potter books for kids or teens not for adults, even though she has a tremendous adult following, so duh, on me!

    I'm not into the Harry Potter books, so I'll slink into my other corner before I'm hit with flying things from any of the books.

    My kids read most of them and liked them.

    To redeem myself, hehe, I have read Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, that Heather Nicole's book club is reading this month. I read it in high school and liked it back then: a very general statement.... Won't say more since she is currently reading it.

    (Julie I'm up painting a collage. I was invited as one of 14 artists, to make larger artpieces this year continue fundraising for the Community Arts Center we hope will open in 2006.) It is based on the Mixed Media piece currently on my site.)

    posted by Anonymous SilverMoon on 4:42 AM  

  • I love the HP series! Neither one of my kids care for reading which just breaks my mommy heart. Maybe I tried too hard.

    Anyway...this latest book IMHO, was missing something for me. I don't know.....maybe I don't like that fact that they are growing up and in love with each other. It's just seems to me like an episode of "friends". Everyone falling in and out of love with each other. I was hoping it wouldn't go that way.

    I love Hermione too and would have liked to have seen her more in the book.

    It also seemed to me that there was a lot of magic missing too. I LOVED the last book. I loved all the previous ones...

    I hope the last book of the series doesn't turn into a flop.

    posted by Blogger Adrienne on 3:38 PM  

  • I too was a bit disappointed with 'the other book' it took a while to get going, and then once it did, wasn't as gripping as the previous ones. I'm glad I didn't pay full price on it. Target had them $15 off.

    posted by Blogger Mummy/Crit on 9:22 AM  

  • Funny. I'm reading "Pi" now (and liking it) and just yesterday Kite Runner arrived in the mail, courtesy of my sister-in-law who was passing it along. Unfortunately it sat out with only a manila envelope for protection during that torrential rain. So I'm air drying it now and hoping the binding doesn't give way.

    At any rate, I hope to register a vote in the next month or two (yes it will take me that long).

    posted by Blogger doulicia on 12:02 PM  

  • I didn't read Kite Runner; but I can talk about Harry Potter! Sorry...

    posted by Blogger Fred on 4:55 PM