The Kite Runner Summary

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

After receiving a phone call from Rahim Khan asking him to visit him in Pakistan, Amir begins to remember his life growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. His father a wealthy man, never accepted his bookish son, because he wanted a son who was brave, athletic, and more like him. Amir was none of these things, but Hassan his playmate and the son of Ali, Amir's father's servant was. Hassan was the kite runner.

The two boys were raised together, but there were differences between them. Hassan is Hazara and Amir is Pashtun, Hassan is Shi'a Muslim and Amir Sunni Muslim, these differences meant Hassan was uneducated and ostracized, while Amir was given every advantage.

Hassan was devoted to Amir, which he proved the day he stood up to Assef, a bully. He threatened to beat up Amir, but Hassan made the boy back down by threatening to take out Assef's eye with his slingshot. Assef promised he would one day seek retribution.

After a coup in Afghansistan, the boys' world changed, but one thing stayed the same, the kite fighting tournament in which Pashtun boys try to cut each other's kites out of the sky. Amir was favored to win that year's tournament.

Amir won the tournament, but Baba, Amir's father wanted the last kite Amir cut. This was the job of the kite runner and Hassan was the best kite runner in their neighborhood. He retrieved the kite, but Assef cornered him and demanded the kite. The price Hassan paid to keep the kite was to be sodomized by Assef. Amir saw the situation, but he didn't do anything to stop it, because he feared Assef. He regretted this inaction the rest of his life. Hassan never again ran a kite.

On Amir's thirteenth birthday Baba threw him a party. Because of the guilt he felt from not helping Hassan, Amir decided to make Hassan and his father leave. He planted some of his gifts in Hassan's home and told Baba Hassan stole them. Hassan admitted to stealing the items and he and Ali left the house.

Five years later, in 1981, Amir and his father were smuggled into Pakistan, because the Russians had taken over Afghanistan.

In 1983, Amir and Baba moved to California. Amir graduated from high school and attended community college. Baba and Amir sold items at a flea market. There he met Soraya Taheri, the daughter of General Taheri. Amir fell in love with Soraya, but her father disapproved of Amir.

During this time, Baba became ill with cancer. One day he had a seizure and the vendors found out he was dying. They rallied around him and Amir. Amir asked his father to go to General Taheri and ask for Soraya's hand in marriage to Amir. The General approved the match.

A month after their marriage, Baba died in his sleep. Amir and Soraya began studying at San Jose State. He wanted to be a writer and she a teacher. After Amir's first book was published they decided to start a family, but found out Soraya couldn't have children.

One day, Amir received a phone call from Rahim Khan asking him to come to Pakistan. Rahim was ill, but he told Amir "there is a way to be good again". In Pakistan, Amir learned that for a time Hassan lived with Rahim in Baba's house. Rahim told Amir he wanted him to do him a favor, but first he must hear the story of Hassan's life.

Rahim told Amir he located Hassan in 1986, living with his wife in a small house. They decided to move in with him. In 1990 Hassan's son was born and they named him Sohrab.

Rahim traveled to Pakistan to see doctors and the Taliban found out a Hazara family was living in Baba's house. They shot Hassan and his wife when they said they belonged in the house. The favor Rahim wanted was for Amir to find the boy, because he was Amir's half-nephew. Hassan was Amir's half-brother, by Hassan's mother and Baba.

Amir and Farid, who agreed to take Amir to Kabul, began the long trip. Farid was willing to help Amir, after he found out the reason he wanted to go to Kabul.

They located the orphanage Sohrab was sent to, but found out the director had sold him to a Taliban official. They located the man, who turned out to be Assef.

He would give Amir Sohrab, if Amir fought him, this was his revenge for that day so long ago. Assef almost killed Amir, but Sohrab used his slingshot to obliterate Assef's eye and the two escaped.

Farid took Amir to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan. There Sohrab stayed by his side while he recovered enough to travel to Islamabad. They hoped to hide from Assef and the Taliban there.

Farid found out an orphanage Rahim spoke about for Sohrab didn't exist. Amir then made the decision to take Sohrab back to America with him. At the U.S. embassy Amir found out it is almost impossible to receive a visa for Sohrab. A lawyer told him the only way was to put Sohrab into an orphanage and then try to adopt him. Sohrab was distraught at this idea and he tried to kill himself.

The doctors managed to save Sohrab, but he was incommunicative. He wished he was dead, because of the horrible actions taken against him by Assef. Through a humanitarian visa Sohrab entered America. Amir and Soraya adopted him, but he would not talk for almost a year. One day at a celebration he came out of his shell, as he and Amir participated in a kite fighting contest.

Amir attempts to make up for letting down Hassan, by rescuing his son from Assef. Amir and Soraya try to give Sohrab a loving home. The process of bringing Sohrab home and breaking through his emotional shell, not only rescues the boy, but allows Amir to put away his guilt forever.

Related Links:

The Kite Runner Quiz
The Kite Runner Quotes
The Kite Runner Chapters 1 - 5 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 1 - 5 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 6 - 7 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 8 - 10 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 11 - 12 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 13 - 15 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 16 - 19 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 20 - 22 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 23 - 24 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapter 25 Quiz
The Kite Runner Chapters 6 - 7 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 8 - 10 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 11 - 12 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 13 - 15 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 16 - 19 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 20 - 22 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapters 23 - 24 Summary
The Kite Runner Chapter 25 Summary
The Kite Runner Important Characters
Literature Summaries

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