The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Running Down Kites

          If I was a stalker, I would stalk a few people...Khaled Hosseini, John Reynolds Gardiner, Rick Bragg, Sandra Dallas, John Prine...There are others, but these are ones that come to mind immediately.

        They all have one thing in common: they're all writers (although Prine is a singer-songwriter, albeit a brilliant one).

John Prine---photo by Steve Hopson
       For me, a marvelous book is better than crack or meth (or at least how powerful I imagine the drugs are).  Perhaps I should not include meth, because I think that drug makes you very energetic---you can stay up for days---and since I love to read on the couch or bed and eventually fall asleep, I can't really compare an engaging novel to meth.

       Writing about an alluring author is easy this afternoon, because I just finished watching the movie The Kite Runner.  Truth is, I had been avoiding it for years...

photo of Khaled Hosseini  by wnyc
        Falling in love with a book, and then seeing the story being butchered on the screen, is painful.   When the novel came out, I read it and was completely enamored.  (Alright, there was a part that didn't quite ring true, but I remained loyal until the last page, and it redeemed itself.)  It was such a powerful story, I did not know how a movie---a decent movie---could do it justice.  So when the film came out, I refused to see it.

          Then there were press releases about a second book by Khaled Hosseini.  I scanned the internet when that month came, book.  I went onto this website and found the book was taking longer than anticipated. Drats!

          There I was, waiting like an impatient lover.  And no car lights coming up the street...I was all dressed up, make-up on, anticipating the arrival.

         When the book A Thousand Splendid Suns finally came out, I fell in love all over again.  And as hard as it was to believe, I loved his second book (a book about women) even more than his first (which is really a book about boys and men).  If you have not read either one, and would enjoy seeing a small picture of life in Afghanistan, read them.  They are among my favorites...

         Grudgingly, this morning I put the disc in, still dubious.  Mostly, I was afraid of the movie being all whitebreaded-up.  Would all the Afghans speak English throughout the film? (Why in the world does that happen?  Do producers and directors think Americans are incapable of reading subtitles?  Do they think we don't want to hear the richness--the diversity--of a foreign language?) Would it look like American cheese---all wrapped up in plastic sleeves---instead of fragrant and a bit rough around the edges?  I was prepared for the worst...

        In my opinion, they did a great job.  It was like reading the book all over again.  (And if anyone wants to pay me for this review/opinion, I will gladly accept it.)

photo of Rick Bragg by Kalamazoo Public Library

         To the above authors, consider this a warning:  If you see a frumpy woman, bags under her eyes and a bag of books in her hand, her hair several different colors (unless she gets it dipped this evening) lurking around a corner, watch out.  She might chase after you, snare you, and pepper you with questions about what your writing process is like, as she slobbers out praise for your words. 


  1. Hey Sioux,
    I totally understand about being in awe of other writers. A few months ago I read about how authors in some Europen countries are treated like rock stars.
    Happy thanksgiving!

  2. I loved the Kite Runner book so much - eventhough it made me cry like a baby - and bought the movie as soon as it came out on DVD - I agree with you, is not totally bad (despite the small changes). Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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