Saturday, April 23, 2005

Two more down.....

After spending what feels like forever reading We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch, I blew through The Kite Runner in 2 days, reading most of it on the train coming home from Washington.

Both were very good books.

We Wish to Inform You was well written, enlightening and, at times, difficult. Difficult, because the material pushed me out of my comfort zone. Reading about genocide is never pleasant. But I found the reaction of the world community to be just as unpleasant. Its a story we should all hear and read. We may not like it. But, it raises real questions about sovereignty and the world community. I do not think we in the States give that much thought. If I had one gripe with this book, it is a lack of both footnotes/endnotes and/or a real listing of sources. Yes, the author does touch on this through his acknowledgements, but that is not enough. He makes a lot of bold assertions about how the world reacted, the role of NGO's and what happened inside Rwanda and surrounding nations. While I took much of what he wrote on its face, the book would have been strengthened with citations.

The Kite Runner led me again into a world virtually unknown to me, Afghanistan. This a beautifully written novel that follows the travails of Amir from his childhood in Afghanistan in the mid '70s until he returns during the reign of the Taliban in the '90s. Its a book about his relationships both to his father and to his friend and servant Hassan. I hate to classify this as a coming of age story because it is so much more. A truly incredible first novel from Khaled Hosseini. Read this book.

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