[FILM] TVO BIGIDEAS – Robert Adams: A Book Review of ‘The Kite Runner’ placed in the context of an unabridged analytical history of Afghanistan [Nov 2004]


The irrepressible Robert Adams presents an enthralling review of Khaled Hosseini’s, The Kite Runner. The Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul.Robert Adams, one of North America’s leading literary thinkers, is an impressive and animated speaker who displays a vast knowledge of history and literature. He always manages to deliver hard facts and humorous anecdotes with equal charm. In this series, Adams speaks at length about six authors and their works. In each program, he presents a fascinating, in-depth review of a contemporary novel. Produced by TVO. Every year, Robert Adams prepares a series of five reviews of contemporary novels, to be delivered alone on a theatre stage to sold-out audiences in Toronto and Montreal. In A Love of Reading Adams has now gathered 18 of his most brilliant reviews, from Jack Maggs by Peter Carey and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, to A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler. In them he skillfully interweaves a nimble and entertaining discussion of plot, theme, and characterization with fascinating historical, biographical, and literary context. He is repeatedly drawn to the spectacle of less-than-perfect humans making their way in a hostile world, and as a result a review by Robert Adams is almost always a hugely satisfying mix of rich pathos and abundant humour. Famously, Adams reads a book a day, from which he selects only those novels that are truly extraordinary, that have made him see some part of the world or some aspect of the human condition in a new light – because for Adams, the best books always take the reader on a journey, with a destination very distant from the point of departure. It should be not only a journey of discovery – an exploration of the author’s vision – but also of risk. By matching one’s own vision to that of the author, says Adams, the reader enters an exciting negotiation to produce a new vision of his own. This joint enterprise between reader and writer, the shared risk and the wonder of discovery, is the foundation of A Love of Reading. • For the last six years, Robert Adams has presented an annual series of book reviews to sold out audiences. Eighty per cent
of Adams’ 3,000 subscribers in Toronto and Montreal renew for the following season
• This book is a selection of modern classics from a discriminating and entertaining guide
• Perfect for reading groups
Quill & Quire, noting the jump in sales of any book reviewed by Adams, has called the phenomenon “The Adams Effect” Robert Adams is a Welsh-born teacher, writer, and critic. For 11 years in Montreal and 8 years in Toronto, he presented an annual series of book reviews to sold out audiences in both cities. He has often been profiled on television, including PBS, and his lectures were shown on TV Ontario for 5 years. They are still shown on Book TV. His biography of the artist alexander Bercovitch was shortlisted for the 1988 QSPELL Award and A Love of Reading, the first of 2 collections of his lectures, was a national bestseller in 2001. He now lectures all over the world on the 6-Star Crystal Cruise Line. ~~~~~~~~~~ “rave reviews for reviewer….absolutely outstanding”
– Montreal Gazette “a real tour de force performance”
– Toronto Star “Robert Adams has invented a new art form”
– NOW Magazine “a prodigiously well-read and highly articulate speaker”
– Quill & QuireThe Kite Runner is a novel by the author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini’s first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007. The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who befriended Hassan, the son of his father’s Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.


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