Tuesday, 17 June 2008

For you, a thousand times over...

While browsing at MPH bookstore two weeks back, I chanced upon the latest book by Afghan writer Khaled Hosseini titled `A Thousand Splendid Suns' (see sidebar for link). This book is Hosseini's second after his debut bestseller called `The Kite Runner'.

The Kite Runner has been adapted into a movie and I managed to get hold of the DVD last weekend. It was a really good watch. It tells the story of two childhood friends from Kabul in Afghanistan who are so close that they are almost like brothers. Something happened that caused them to move apart. One of them had to leave the country after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and after years of living in the United States, found a reason to go back.

This is a story about close relationships.... between friends, and between a father and his son. It is also a story about trust, loyalty, cowardice and redemption. No high speed action, just pure drama. If you had a real close friend who stood by you during your years of growing up, then this movie is for you.

I have not yet read Hosseini's first book. Perhaps it is better that way because I tend not to enjoy movies based on books that I have read. This is simply because I would invariably compare between what is written and what is screened. And when I come across scenes that have been modified or realised that some scenes are omitted, it sort of spoils the fun.

A recent example is the movie The Da Vinci Code. To me, the book is a fast-paced action thriller but somehow the movie does not seem to fully capture that.

This is of course, a general observation only. There are exceptions and a good example is the movie `The Shawshank Redemption'. This movie is based on a Stephen King novella originally titled `Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption'. It is part of a four-story novel compilation called `Different Seasons'. I had read the book before I watched the movie. There are some scenes in the movie that are not in the book but I must say that this made the movie even better.

I'm about half-way into reading Hosseini's second book now. Real hard to put down.

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