Unforgettable that’s what you are…Although I love the song by Nat King Cole Porter, but this is not what I want to write about.
I want to talk about what makes a book unforgettable. What makes people sit up and talk about a book they have read.
In a previous blog I have told you about a book which had a profound effect on me when I read it as a child, ‘The Bondman’ by Hall Caine, a 19th century acclaimed writer.
I read a book a few years ago that I found unforgettable. It was ‘The Kite Runner’, the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003. It tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Alebar Khan district of Kabul.
The simple but exquisite writing of this poignant novel compels the reader to keep turning pages. The novel deals with the friendship of a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. It is a story of family, love, friendship and betrayal, set against a devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years.
What made the book unforgettable to me? For me, it captured my heart I quote you a sentence which piqued my interest and drew me into the central drama of the story.
“That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws it way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.’
At the outset of Chapter one, Amir writes these words. For me the words ‘for the last twenty-six years’ tells how important this moment was. How he is trying to bury the memory, and this event largely defined the course of Amir’s life ever since.
I have tried to analise what was the overwhelming quality of the two books I mention, for me it was evoking a strong emotional response to the characters; their simplicity, weaknesses, and, of course, a gifted author who wrote with such clarity.