The Kite Runner
- I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
- Ch. 1
- Ali and Sanaubar had little in common, least of all their respective appearances. While Sanaubar’s brilliant green eyes and impish face had, rumor has it, tempted countless men into sin, Ali had a congenital paralysis of his lower facial muscles, a condition that rendered him unable to smile and left him perpetually grim-faced. It was an odd thing to see the stone-faced Ali happy, or sad, because only his slanted brown eyes glinted with a smile or welled with sorrow. People say that eyes are windows to the soul. Never was that more true than with Ali, who could only reveal himself through his eyes.
I have heard that Sanaubar’s suggestive stride and oscillating hips sent men to reveries of infidelity.
- Ch. 2
- Then he would remind us that there was a brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship that not even time could break.
Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words.
Mine was Baba.
His was Amir. My name.
Looking back on it now, I think the foundation for what happened in the winter of 1975—and all that followed—was already laid in those first words (11).
- Ch. 2
- Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.- Rahim Khan
- Ch. 3
- With me as the glaring exception, my father molded the world around him to his liking. The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can't love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little.
- If America taught me anything, it's that quitting is right up there with pissing in the Girl Scouts' lemonade jar.
- There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft....When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.
- One time, when I was really little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I'd just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn't have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples.
- I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
- I think that everything he did, feeding the poor, giving money to friends in need, it was all a way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.
- That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. (1)
- But coming close wasn't the same as winning, was it? ... He had won because winners won and everyone else just went home. (56)
- It was Homaira and me against the world... In the end, the world always wins. That's just the way of things. (99) Rahim Khan
- War doesn't negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace. - Baba (115)
- I stepped back and all I saw was rain through windowpanes that looked like melting silver. (109)
- You're gutless. It's how you were made. And that's not such a bad thing because your saving grace is that you've never lied to yourself about it. Not about that. Nothing wrong with cowardice as long as it comes with prudence. But when a coward stops remembering who he is.. God help him. (275) Amir
- But that's what I'm saying to you... That there are bad people in this world, and sometimes bad people stay bad. Sometimes you have to stand up to them. (319) Amir
- Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. (361)
- How could I of all people, chastise someone for their past? - Amir
- There is a way to be good again. (2) - Rahim Khan
- For you, a thousand times over. (2) -Hassan, Amir
- I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of screaming children. But I didn't care. I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the valley of Panjsher on my lips. I ran.
- P. 391
- Is this about you and Hassan? I know there's something going on between you two, but whatever it is, you have to deal with it, not me. I'm staying out of it. - Baba (79)
- Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. It always has been, always will be. We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood. - Assef (35)
- Fuck the Russia! - Baba (117)
- Hassan's not going anywhere. He's staying right here with us, where he belongs. This is his home and we're his family. Don't you ever ask me that question again! - Baba (79-80)
- I always felt like Baba hated me a little. And why not? After all, I had killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn't I? The least I could have done was to have the decency to have turned out a little more like him. - Amir (17)