The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Book Review)

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was as enjoyable to read on the Amazon Kindle as it would have been in a printed book. I started reading it on the plane during my flight back to NYC from Charlotte after speaking at a conference there. It took two evenings to complete.

The story is gripping and emotional: It makes use of back references and coincidences that fit in well for such a story touching Eastern cultures and societies. The descriptions of Afghanistan make you feel like you can relate to the place that is foreign to many of us. The depiction of the immigrant community in the San Francisco Bay Area feels like a genuine experience. Even though the author relates the storyline to Afghan history giving the tale a realistic feel, he does not dwell much into narrating the actual historical events like a part-history book. Instead, the book focuses on the characters and the plot, making it a thrilling experience to read throughout. The story isn’t a light read: It describes some of life’s gruesome realities. Overall, while he does employ cultural stereotypes, the author has captured the essence of different cultures and represents them well.

In most parts, the story feels real, as if it was someone’s amazing autobiography. Some coincidences do, however feel too eerie to be true. I recommend it.

My rating of this book: 4/5 stars.

Below is an introduction to the book in a video interview with the author.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56uFHgTs3us

An All-Nighter at Work Followed by a Terrorism Threat Scare

We had too much excitement at work pulling an all-nighter. Then when we thought we could go home and sleep, there was a terrorism threat at our building. An stranger placed some threatening packets mentioning anthrax and terrorism.

Fortunately, one of the employees saw this suspicious person and alarmed the rest of us. As we came out and saw him, the culprit took off. Five KRD engineers chased after the culprit, splitting up to not loose him without fear of their own safety while the others called the police and took photos of the scene.

Within minutes several police cars lined up outside the KRD office. Other police cars raced looking for this man. After a long chase in downtown San Jose and almost losing him a couple of times, a KRD engineer caught him and handed him over to the police. The police arrested the suspect and he confessed leading the police to more packets he left at our office we didn’t know about. It seems he was not a real terrorist, but just some disturbed person. What a night!

The full story, photos and videos1 are below.

Knight Ridder is an enjoyable place to work. The employees are diverse, talented, hardworking, friendly and fun! No wonder I’ve been here for almost 8 years.

On this Friday night/Saturday morning, many folks from the Knight Ridder Digital Technology, Product and other departments happily stayed at work late hours to ensure that a data center migration project went successfully. As you can see, besides working hard that night, they also had a lot of fun.

Photographs

Click here to see the photos on my photos.rajiv.com site (Many of the photos here show folks having fun, but they worked very hard too.)

Video Clips

(Note: The movies may take 2 to 3 minutes to download even on broadband connections. I will move them to a streaming video site in the future.)

  • Sharon demonstrates Kung-Fu. Moral: Do not mess with the CTO.
  • Peaceful engineers would rather fight Kung-Fu virtually
  • They are enjoying Tekken Tag Tournament during a break
  • They play hard too
  • But Bob Hucker will not take a break from work. That’s our Bob :-)
  • Wayne Weber can’t take a break right now either
  • Finally caught camera-shy Patrick Carter on video. That’s our Patrick :-)
  • Some Laughter and Conversations

Police Investigating

  • Police walking towards the materials left by the culprit
  • Police photographing the materials left by the culprit

I was there that night to provide moral support, food, and entertainment. These photo and videos were posted online while the work was going on. I work for a news media company after all :-)

  1. Update: videos moved to http://rajiv.blip.tv/ on 2007-12-15 []