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Kissing the Rain [Paperback]

Kevin Brooks
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jan 2005
In Moo Nelson's life it rains every day - a constant rain of spite and derision - and every day he walks through it all with his eyes down, wishing things were different. But knowing they're not. His only refuge is the bridge, where he spends his time thinking and dreaming and watching the world go by. Until the night he witnesses a car-chase - and a murder...Or does he? What is the truth, and who is it for? The police? The gangsters? The lawyers? The bullies at school? Moo must decide: between truth and lies, loneliness and loyalty, weakness and strength. And he must do it soon...Kissing the Rain is a story about the unique confusions of being a teenager: the turmoil of emotions, the complexity of relationships, the inner world of feelings, and how to express them. More than anything, though, the story is Moo Nelson - his mind, his body, his words, his truth

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House Ltd; New edition edition (3 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904442390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904442394
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,171,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The hero of Kissing the Rain, Moo Nelson, is fat--pale white blubbery fat--and he gets rained on every day at school for it. The jokes, the insults, the snide laughter, the beatings--all of it he calls the RAIN. Moo has learned to "umbrellarize" it, to walk through it with his eyes down. Because after school there is always the bridge--a place where he can where he can watch the cars go by on the highway and find some shelter from the RAIN.

That is until the day he sees two speeding cars, a crash, a scuffle and a murder on the bridge. Moo is the only witness, and his story is not what the police want to hear. If he tells the truth, Keith Vine, a notorious bad guy, will go free, and Detective Inspector Callan will retaliate by sending Moo's father to jail for welfare fraud. If he lies, Vine will take violent revenge. The secret pressures mount on Moo from all sides--money and gifts, threats and beatings--until he chooses to kiss the RAIN, to take action against his tormentors.

Kevin Brooks again shows the brilliance that won him acclaim for Martyn Pig and Lucas. The story emerges through a murky stream of consciousness; Moo's working-class British voice swirls past the boulders of plot events. Moo is befuddled, hurting, and enormously touching as he struggles toward a dimly perceived Right Thing to Do, and misses the mark badly. This third YA novel from Kevin Brooks is evocative of the best of PBS' Mystery! series. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kevin Brooks lives in Manningtree, Essex. He has won the Brantord Boase Award and been shortlisted for the Cilip Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Book Trust Teenage book of the Year.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just incredible . . .a great story! 9 Jan 2004
By Ben
I have just finished Kissing the Rain and I have to say it was utterly amazing. I was feeling a bit anxious that this book might not be that good, after reading and loving Kevin' Brooks over two novels, the thrilling Martyn Pig and the emotionally touching Lucas, this book had a lot to live up to.
Thank heavens! The plot is full of twists and turns and it will keep you hooked until the original ending.
The book is set entirely in the first person, through the yes of an overweight fifteen year old called Moo who is repetedly bullied at school. Then Moo witnesses a terrible road rage incident that results in the murder of a man. Unwillingly Moo is involved and is forced to make some tough decisions.
I won't say anymore.
Just one more thing to say is that the book is written in phoenetic English so that takes a few chapters to adjust to but otherwises this book is flawless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky style and a rip-roaring pace 18 Feb 2007
I don't know how Kevin Broooks does it - the narrative voice (his books are always first person) is so very different from the other books I've read by him, and you really, really get inside the main character's head.

This is the plot: Moo Nelson, a really overweight teenager, likes watching traffic from his favourite bridge. He goes there a lot to think - or just to be peaceful. But one night he sees a confrontation between the people in two cars, and the next thing he knows, he's a witness in a murder trial. Thing is, Moo knows that the guy in the dock isn't the one who committed the murder, but the guy in the dock is also the nastiest piece of work you could come across and the police are desperate to stitch him up. So both sides put enormous pressure on Moo - and both sides try to bribe him and use violence and threats - and you just feel for Moo. There's no way out. Or is there?

It's fast, furious, and totally believable. And heartbreaking, of course. You just can't see any way to get out of Moo's situation without someone getting hurt. And his friend Brady does get hurt, when he tries to claim he was a witness too. I wasn't sure at first that I could cope with Moo's narration because there's a tendency to use CAPITALS a lot of the time, and you have to get used to his quirky way of 'speaking'. But that in itself is half the book - Moo isn't the world's nicest person and he's certainly making no attempt to lose weight for his health. His parents are clearly overweight as well and they don't bother to try to understand what Moo's going through. He's completely alone - and he's only human.

I was a little disappointed by the ending. It almost felt as though Brooks had backed himself into a corner, plot-wise, and decided to take the easy way out. But that is absolutely no reason not to read the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gutsy and powerful 9 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been a little disapointed with the various Brooks books I've read, finding them either bland or with a weak ending, but Kissing the Rain blew me away. If there's one book that could get teenage boys reading then this must be it. Not because it's written in text-speak instead of standard English but because it is gutsy in portraying a hero character that repels the reader and has little to redeem himself and yet is utterly believable, and his tendancy for choosing the wrong paths is tragic. Surely all teenagers at one time feel themselves to be alone and unloved and threatened by an alien adult world that they are not yet a part of?
The ending is sudden and is simply the end of our lead's e-mail/letter before he enacts his rather foolish plan. It's left to the reader to imagine the aftermath and it doesn't paint a pretty picture. I am in the process of writing my own novels for the teenage market and if I had wrote Kissing the Rain I would be extremely happy with the result.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Beggining, Middle, But not end 30 Mar 2010
A Kid's Review
Having read Brooks's Black Rabbit Summer, Being, and The Road Of The Dead, I expected this story to be very good. The main plot and the twists were good and I kept on reading to expect an exiting climax ending, but where there should have been a proper ending, the book ended giving you the job to work out what happened next, which was dissapointing.. Overall I like this book because of the storyline/plot, but the ending is dissapointing. Kissing The Rain is good, but it cant compete with Brooks's Black Rabbit Summer, Being, and The Road Of The Dead.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Irritated 3 Mar 2008
By Les
I agree that the ending was disappointing. I would not have had a problem with it's immorality as I did not find Moo especially 'nice' throughout, however where there should be an ending there is an uncomfortable 'oh my, what will happen next' one-line exit. The book was good in that it made you want to read on (the first read), but the reason I wished to read on was to get to the climax of an exciting ending. Having reached an exceedingly frustrating non-ending I would never feel the urge to read any of it again, as it was excessively long and drawn out with little action and a lot of suspense that was not fulfilled. Brooks is great at describing feelings - but in far too extensive detail and boring self-pity here.
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