The Kite Runner is the five-tool player of books; it does a lot of things well. But, as with many five-tool players in baseball, it has no truly outstanding points. The plot is good, but a tad formulaic. The theme of redemption has been done better elsewhere. I hoped this would be sort of an Afghan analog of Reading Lolita in Tehran, but even though Afghanistan is the initial setting and the culture is referred to frequently, I don’t feel like I learned that much. If you don’t expect miracles, or if you need something to read on a plane, then it’ll serve you well.