Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fiction Books

I have finished a few fiction books over the last few months, which I have really enjoyed.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini was very powerful. It has been very popular, so readers of this blog have probably already read it. I really enjoyed it. It is set in Afghanistan and is the story of 2 boys who are childhood friends, but classes divide them. Their friendship is changed drastically after a tragic incident in which one chooses not to help the other. It then goes on to outline the lives of the one of the boys as he grows up. I thoroughly enjoyed it, including the small insight it gave me into life in Afghanistan as the Taliban were gaining power. I really liked the ending, which I feel was muted - not a perfect ending, but one suffused with hope.

Atonement, by Ian McEwan was also very good, and in some ways had some surprising parallels with the Kite Runner: issues of class, the muted ending, and the main character being an writer.

The first part of the book covers only one day of a summer in England in the 1930s. A young girl witnesses a number of events throughout the day and by the end of the day has witnessed and committed a crime. The following two parts detail what happens to the main characters as a result. I found the writing a little too flowery for my taste, but the story was powerful. I could not have read both of these novels back to back (I tried, but gave up), they were a little too intense for that. I finished the Kite Runner first and needed time to think about it and reflect on it. 6 weeks later (and on holidays again) I read Atonement. Both are definitely worth a read.


Unknown said...

Hi Wendy,
I really enjoyed the Kite Runner too. The same author has also written A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I enjoyed even more (I have it if you want to borrow it). I have been meaning to read Atonement,I will put it on my list.

Wendy said...

Thanks Amellia, I had planned to avoid A Thousand Splendid Suns, as my mum did not like it at all. But you are in a line of people who also have recommended it to me now, so I will give it a go! Perhaps in our June holidays (as you know, I save the fiction for the holidays!). W

Melissa Piggin said...

Do read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" at some stage. I read it first and actually liked it better than the Kite Runner, but I haven't worked out why yet?