The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hossenini
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Bloomsbury
Tue, 06/09/2011
9781594485473
£12.00

It’s Afghanistan in the 1970s, and two boys have a loving friendship, despite one being the son of the servant to the other’s father.  They bond over hide-and-seek and competitive kite flying. But things aren’t idyllic enough to ignore the class and ethnic differences between the two, and an act of betrayal sets them apart – with an unexpected chance of redemption to come years down the line.

While some people may have read the novel, those new to the story have a great way into this world in this graphic novel version. The Kite Runner has been crafted by two very talented artists, Fabio Celoni and Mirka Andolfo, and readers old and new should come to this and gain much. The inked artwork is great at defining character, and providing a detailed world for them all. The colour comes from a computerised airbrush that looks quite gaudy to begin with, but when childhood fades it fades too.  

Perhaps less subdued is the race through the relevant plot points, but the speed of events here bludgeons any chance of sentimentality out of the way. The ending, which seems just a little too upbeat considering it was set in the summer of 9/11, may divide many, but that’s due to the original and not this version, which has been adapted with much aplomb, and hopefully will allow many more to accept sequential art tellings of their favourite novels on their shelves.
 

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