I finished reading The Kite Runner. Although I have listened to people praise the book over the last five years, I never really paid much attention to the plot discussions. I was pleasantly surprised by the book; it is a well written story. It is very readable book.
Given the how much Afghanistan is in the news lately, the book is also very topical. It provides an account of the country's political turmoil of the last thirty years. The descriptions of poverty and brutality are astounding. While I can process the accounts of poverty, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the brutality. The level of brutality is so far from my own life experience that it might as well be science fiction set on some distance planet.
The Kite Runner is definitely a book that I would recommend. Sharon said that the author's second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is an even better book with a stronger story and more plausible plot. This second book will definitely be on my list to read in the next year; this is probably the best indication of how much I enjoyed this book.