TITLE: DE VLIEGERAAR
AUTHOR: KHALED HOSSEINI
Details: Dutch translation of THE KITE RUNNER
I usually don't like reading translations if I can help it, but this book was a present, and so it seemed rude not to read it. And, as translations go, this wasn't a bad one; it read away quite naturally, which is an accomplishment on the translators part. Although the translation of the title was not right.
A "Vliegeraar" is the person keeping the kite in the air, the person who flies it while it's attached to the rope. The "Kite Runner" of the title on the other hand, appears to be the person who chaces and catches the kite once it has been cut loose. Having said that, I wouldn't be able to come up with a better translation myself. I don't think there is a Dutch word that captures what's meant here.
And so, to the story.
Amin and Hassan grow up together in Kabul, but always aware that one is "the master" and the other will never be more then a servant.
Jealousy causes Amin to be quite mean to Hassan at times, even though he is the one in the privileged position.
One day Hassan falls victim to a vicious attack, one in which Amin chooses not to interfere. This day changes their relationship forever.
It is not until years later, when Amin has been living in the US for some time that he is told a family secret. One that makes him return to a very dangerous Kabul, and provides him with an opportunity to make up for past mistakes.
A heartbreaking, shocking, yet very beautiful story.
My next book by this author will be read in the original English, though, and I'll be curious to see how that compares.