This could possibly be 5 stars, but I'm being harsh. I've read the criticisms with this book, mainly complaining that it's cliched and it is a little at times, but I don't think that detracts from what an amazing story it is. Obviously Khaled Hosseini has drawn heavily from his childhood experiences in Afghanistan and I found the early chapters were the most powerful and well written. This book provided a glimpse of life in Afghanistan, from Hosseini's memories and I liked that aspect to the story and the parallels that could be drawn between his real life and those of the characters. Yet, this is a work of fiction, not a history book and I don't think people should get too caught up on just the political messages. Quite aside from the content, I found the writing style absorbing from the first page and I loved the character development. I felt truly invested in each character and I loved how complex Amir was, right to the end of the book. I think if this book was written 50 years ago, it would already be a modern classic and on many a school syllabus. Perhaps one day that will be the case in Afghanistan.