The Kite Runner, By Khaled Hosseini, Fabio Celoni, and Mirka Andolfo

Dumbing down? No, adding depth
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The Independent Culture

Graphic novel adaptations are often met with an onslaught of criticism before they have even been released; victims of a near subconscious belief that when it comes to the world of fiction, words are good, pictures bad.

Any assertion that this comic is somehow dumbing down Hosseini's bestselling novel are brushed aside by the writer himself, who has written all the text narration and dialogue for his latest project.

Amir and Hassan, two young boys in 1970s Afghanistan, laugh and fly kites before being ripped apart forever by a terrible incident; this event haunts Amir throughout his life until one day he is given the chance to seek redemption.

Hosseini has hailed Art Spiegelman's Maus and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis as two of his favourite novels – graphic or otherwise – and although fictional, The Kite Runner does seek to continue that tradition of opening up cultures to the blinkered Western eye.

The pages are beautifully illustrated, Celoni using a charming and almost whimsical style that allows for a great number of textless panels that move the story forward within far fewer pages than expected. Andolfo provides wonderfully soft and warm colours in the happy days of Amir's childhood before fading and darkening in his later life. This gentleness throws the horrific and violent events in the first act into sharp relief, further underscoring the true loss of a child's innocence.

A powerful and affecting read, and one that Hosseini hopes will enhance the story for new readers and existing fans, adding extra depth to the reading experience.