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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats Paperback – 7 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184697240X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846972409
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A truly beautiful story that will captivate and thaw the coldest of hearts' --We Love This Book

'A magical tale to capture your imagination' --My Weekly

'Touching and affecting prose' --Sunday Herald

About the Author

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a non-fiction book about China. 'The Art of Hearing Heartbeats' is his first novel. He lives in Berlin with his family.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jago Wells VINE VOICE on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was recommended to me by a friend who claimed it was the best book they had read this year. I must say,Jan Philipp Sendker's novel set in Burma certainly ticks all the emotional boxes being both moving and well written. The story concerns orphan Tim Win who has been scarred in childhood through the traumatic events he experiences and his US domiciled and educated daughter who sets off on a voyage of discovery to find the father she never knew. Without giving the story away,The art of Hearing heartbeats-originally published in German- is a gem of a book that will repay re-reading. Excellent!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ms a j hedley on 11 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was given The Art of Hearing Heartbeats for Christmas as it had recently been translated into english. I can only say it is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The exploration into love in its many forms was beautifully handled and the insight into Burmese culture and their understanding of life and love was simply exquisite.
AO'M. England
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bluedolphina on 30 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Captivatingly different and simply charming, this book gives insight into the closed world of Burma whilst providing innumerable insights into life itself. The story which one would think would evoke pity, blindness and deformity given to its central characters, instead thrills the soul with the potentiality of the beauty life can offer, even in the most harrowing of circumstances. Easy to read and very hard to put down this book is certain to become a classic love story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T Frostic on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an emotional and captivatng read. I was hooked all the way to the end, it's emotion, heartache, desire and yearning are all what everyone can relate to. The book lifts physical disabilities out of their limitations and allows children to be themselves, to discover and improvise and imagine. This book is about freedom, honesty and loyalty. If you love emotion and love stories with a twist, then this is one to read, I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline, it brought out the child in me that wants to discover and enjoy life to its full. A beautiful book.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By I LOVE BOOKS on 9 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Love with a capital `L'. Not a sappy novel though. No. This is a well-structured, finely written romance. It made me look up Kalaw (Burma) where most of the story is set, on the map. It made me close my eyes, in the attempt of almost identifying myself with the protagonists, following them through their walks. An invisible witness to their feelings, breaths, existences. Opening up to life. Falling in love.

A short synopsis and no spoilers: Julia Win, a young lawyer from upscale New York, starts looking for her father, Tim Win, of Burmese origin, a prominent lawyer himself, who disappeared without a trace four years before. A working appointment missed, the trail of his last steps going cold and colder. Now frozen. He is never seen again. His wife and children, including Julia, gradually resign themselves to his disappearance, not without some inner battles. The feeling of abandonment mixed with bitterness never leaves Julia. One day, she finds a very old letter written in the 1940s by his father to a certain Mi Mi in Burma. An address in Kalaw is all she needs to follow her instinct and hop on to a plane in search of her father. Will that old letter, folded and refolded several times, be the key to her father's disappearance? Once in Kalaw, she is approached by a gentle but strange man, U Ba, who seems to know her although they have never met before. He also drops hints that he knows of Tim Win's whereabouts. Surprised and confused, Julia starts listening to the unfolding of an incredible story. Is U Ba really talking about HER father, covering the first twenty years of his Burmese life that nobody, not even his American wife, ever learned about? What was going on here?
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Setting this novel in Burma, (now Myanmar), Jan-Philipp Sendker pulls out all the stops, telling the consummately romantic story of an abandoned and traumatized orphan boy, Tin Win, who must learn to make connections with the world beyond. Looking back at the past and forward into the future, the novel is also a triumph over adversity, as two characters, one blind and one crippled, movingly overcome their "handicaps," and find happiness within. And it also a novel of suspense, as Julia Win, the young American daughter of her missing Burmese father, Tin Win, travels into this mysterious country, searching for the writer of a love letter from almost fifty years ago. Julia's other-worldly meeting with U ba, a monk in the small town where her father grew up, sets the tone and atmosphere for much of the action.

Time in this novel is not linear, with Julia suddenly remembering and retelling one of her father's stories about prince who befriends a crocodile in the name of love, a story which echoes throughout the novel. Another early diversion from the main story occurs with the story of U May, the abbot of the local monastery, whose own love story parallels in many ways the story which eventually grows up around Tin Win, a story with symbolism (or sense of foreboding) on several levels.

As U ba tells Julia about her father's early life, she learns about Mi Mi, the crippled girl who becomes his love, and the novel becomes almost a morality tale, with many statements about the nature of life and love: "We acknowledge as love primarily those things that correspond to our own image thereof. We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love." A poem by Pablo Neruda asks us, "How much does a man live, after all?/ Does he live a thousand days, or only one?/...
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