The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner Chapter 10 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- The chapter opens with Baba and Amir crammed into the back of an old Russian truck. They're with other refugees on their way to Pakistan. Afghanistan has gotten too dangerous. Neighbors have turned against each other, and everyone seems to be a spy for the Russians.
- Amir starts to feel sick and someone asks Karim, the driver, to pull over. He does eventually and Amir gets out. A MiG (a Russian fighter jet – haven't you seen Top Gun?) flies overhead.
- They pull up to a checkpoint. The Russian soldier manning it seems a little drunk. He tells Karim he'll let the truck pass if he gets to spend some special alone time with one of the women in the truck.
- Baba is outraged. Amir grabs Baba's leg, but to no avail. Baba gets up and tells the Russian to shove it. The soldier takes out his gun out of his holster. (Nail-biting tension.) The gun goes off, but no one gets hit. A superior officer shows up and gives the soldier a very mild scolding. They make it through the checkpoint.
- Cut to Jalalabad. They arrive at a one-story house, and Karim tells everyone the bad news: No truck to Peshawar. Baba goes crazy and grabs Karim by the throat and almost strangles him. He would have, in fact, if it weren't for the pleas of a young woman.
- In the basement of the house, more refugees have been waiting for weeks. Among them are Kamal and his father. In an odd twist of events, it turns out Kamal's mother caught a stray bullet in Kabul. Kamal was also raped in Kabul.
- Because there's no truck to take them to Peshawar, Karim comes up with an alternative. His cousin owns a fuel truck, which would work just fine. The refugees pile into the belly of the fuel truck. Almost immediately, Amir's eyes and nose start to burn. Fumes! Baba tells Amir: "Think of something good" (10.73). He pictures himself and Hassan in a field. They're flying a kite.
- The fuel truck makes it to Pakistan. A bus is going to take them the rest of the way to Peshawar. Amir (and some of the other refugees) crawl around on the ground, weakened by the fumes. Kamal isn't breathing. His father is stunned. He somehow gets a hold of Karim's gun and shoots himself in the head.
- The chapter ends with Amir dry-heaving on the side of the road.
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