Dependent Origination


Posted on: September 30, 2008


I started this book while in Beijing and finished on the flight from Beijing to San Francisco, without sleeping at all. So I counted this as a book for year 2007 😉
The tie-in movie is showing now in theatres and is probably the reason i picked the book before going on the home trip since in case i have the chance to watch the movie i would like to finish reading first. This is a story about betrayal and redemption, about the marks a (perceived) loveless childhood can leave on a person, about a lifestyle that disappears through the cracks of history.
I don’t exactly like the book very much, mainly because it fails to draw me into caring for its main character. It is touching at times, for example, when describing the idyllic childhood life of the two main characters,  Amir and Hassan, before the soviet invasion into Afghanistan. It reads like life in a Shangrila. I also like the part after Amir and his Baba moved to America and tried to restart without any luggage, at which time, I actually feel Amir was doing something to change himself.
Besides these two parts, i cannot bring myself to care about Amir. His cruelty to people who loved him unconditionally and were able to show to him, and eventually his inability to stand up and defend what was dear to him makes him such a wimp.
I read the book with not much care, but serious satire to see how a selfish person redempts himself. Admittedly, he went through considerable amount of trouble to atone his past sins. However, that does not make him any more likeable. It only makes me think the world is fair in the end in the sense everyone has to pay, for their mistakes.


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