A few weeks ago, I came home from work to a proper treat waiting for me. A copy of the just about to be (at the time) released graphic novel adaption of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, (it was actually released on Monday).
1970s Afghanistan: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives…
Since its publication in 2003, The Kite Runner has sold twenty one million copies worldwide. Through Khaled Hosseini’s brilliant writing, a previously unknown part of the world was brought to life.
Now in this beautifully illustrated, four-colour graphic novel adaptation, The Kite Runner is given a vibrant new life which is sure to compel a new generation of readers.
– Publisher’s Blurb
I never got around to reading the original edition of The Kite Runner, so I can’t comment on how good an adaption of the story it is, only on my experiences of reading this version.
First up is the artwork, which is really vibrant, visually stunning and as much a joy to pour over as the story itself.
As I said at the start, I’ve not read the story before, but I knew it was meant to be emotionally powerful, and that is certainly carried across to this version (I believe Hosseini did the adaption himself, so it is perhaps not surprising) it’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
It’s not perfect. I think graphic novels, that are conceived as graphic novels tend to work better. Adaptions like this, sometimes feel like bits of the story are missing, and it does feel like there is more to the story than we get here. (A bit like film adaptions chop out everything that is not absolutely necessary to the main storyline.) I would have liked some more transitional stuff between the main events, just to add a bit of colour and depth.
But that is just something that would make a very good graphic novel, a truly excellent one. It’s still one I can heartily recommend picking up.
My copy of The Kite Runner was provided by Bloomsbury for review purposes.