Shocking, inspiring and tear-jerking!
It would be too simple to say that the whole story stems from the boyhood friendship of Amir and Hassan and their teamwork in becoming kite champions of Kabul, but that is the way that it is. However, there are a hundred sub-plots adding complexity which is necessary to complete the picture. The overtone of their fathers' life-long friendship, the changes to their country that come with the Russian invasion and the subsequent dominance of the Taliban, an early lie as one friend betrays the other.
There is so much contrast in this book: love and hate, kindness and cruelty, grief, happiness and sadness. It stirs every possible emotion in the reader, and one cannot escape without shedding a few tears.
Those who believe that they understand the recent history of Afghanistan, but have formed those opinions around what they have learned from the newspaper and television reports, need to read this book to gain a new perspective. Even if you would not put yourself in that class, you should still read The Kite Runner. A book that cannot be ignored.