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The Man Who Rained [Hardcover]

Ali Shaw
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2012
When Elsa's father is killed in a tornado, all she wants is to escape - from New York, her job, her boyfriend - to somewhere new, anonymous, set apart. For some years she has been haunted by a sight once seen from an aeroplane: a tiny, isolated settlement called Thunderstown. Thunderstown has received many a pilgrim, and young Elsa becomes its latest - drawn to this weather-ravaged backwater, this place rendered otherworldly by the superstitions of its denizens. In Thunderstown, they say, the weather can come to life and when Elsa meets Finn Munro, an outcast living in the mountains above the town, she wonders whether she has witnessed just that. For Finn has an incredible secret: he has a thunderstorm inside of him. Not everyone in town wants happiness for Elsa and Finn. As events turn against them, can they weather the tempest - can they survive at all? The Man Who Rained is a work of lyrical, mercurial magic and imagination, a modern-day fable about the elements of love.

Frequently Bought Together

The Man Who Rained + The Girl with Glass Feet + Of Bees and Mist
Price For All Three: 26.87

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857890328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857890320
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The most compelling thing about this book... is not the mere plot but Shaw's striking facility with the language... this is such an imaginative novel, written with such attention to words, and such a sense of wonder, that those who savour such skills will find themselves thoroughly transported. --Observer

The Man Who Rained is delicately crafted... Its story haunting and thoroughly, charmingly different --Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ali Shaw grew up in Dorset and graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English Literature. He has since worked as a bookseller and at Oxford's Bodleian Library. His first novel, The Girl with Glass Feet, was a huge commercial and critical success, won the Desmond Elliot Prize and was shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award. He is currently at work on his third novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting 24 Jan 2012
I read this first book, The Girl with glass feet and was smitten. He made me believe it all could be real. That in some parts of the world there was still magic that was not truly magic, it was just life. It's not like paranormal books where you just read it but do not believe. Here, here it is different. Perhaps men can rain, and perhaps rain can come to life.

His prose is lyrical and it sucks you in, it holds on to you and it also made me feel scared. This is a town filled with superstitious people who kill that of rain and thunder. While on the mountain there lives a strange man called Finn, who is our man who rained. I feared for him.

The story is about Elsa who comes to Thundertown to start a new life. She is nice and curious and meets Finn. Who is mysterious and sweet. He shows her a world that seems to exist only in these mountains. It's a book filled with magical realism and feelings of longing, love but also hate of the unknown. And here it truly shows. That which you do not know you fear and think is dangerous. Only some give it a chance and find that we are all alike in the end.

The book is great, the writing, the story, the people in it and the world he creates. It's a place were sunbeams come to life.

It's a book I recommend because it is so real and still so magical. I can't wait for his next book and see what he comes up with then. It was simply enchanting, heartbreaking and lovely.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of weather! 14 Feb 2012
If you have read The Girl with Glass Feet this is in a similar vein, so if you enjoyed the first you will probably like this. This time he is playing with the idea of personification of the weather. I enjoyed reading it, but I did feel it was a little like watching a film or tv show in the sense of having stock characters - the town bully and his sidekick, the old helpful saintly nun, the man with a cross to bear x3 (Daniel, Kenneth and Finn), the girl from the broken home and so on.
The other surprising thing to me about Ali Shaw having got round to reading his potted bio, is that he is from England ( and a man - when I read his first book I assumed Ali was a woman). His writing in both books seemed to me to have an American feel.
Elsa is a slightly unsatisfactory heroine and probably his least sympathetic character other than Sidney Moses and Abe Cosser. I found Daniel to be the most interesting in the end, probably very clever of Ali to get me to that from D's initial unfavourable appearance.
The descriptive writing is strong and the sense of place with the mountains brooding over the town is well expressed. I wouldn't want to go there though!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb magical Adult Fairy Tale. 13 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I saw that this book was released on New Year's Day I had to treat myself. I bought and really enjoyed Ali Shaw's debut novel The Girl with Glass Feet and was hoping that this one would not disappoint. I'm glad to say in my opinion that it didn't disappoint at all.

Ali Shaw has a distinctive style of writing that draws you into the story. He has the ability to write fairy tales for Adults, that are full of magic and are a joy to read. At the heart of this book is a story about relationships and maybe a touch of romance.

Elsa has always had a keen interest in the weather from an early age. It's all down to her father's interest in storms and this is his downfall in the end. It's following her father's death that Elsa re-evaluates her own relationship and her life in New York. Elsa is drawn to Thunderstown which she'd seen some years ago from a plane window. All is not as it seems in Thunderstown and the reader is soon caught up in the happenings and how day to day life differs from the 'norm'. As we are introduced to some of the inhabitants we realise that like in all good fairy tales, we have some goodies and some baddies to tell you more about these inhabitants would spoil the story as I'd prefer you all to draw your own conclusions as to which side everyone is on.

Elsa happens upon Finn Munro one day and soon realises that he is not quite what one usually expects in a man but it's her love of clouds and all things weather related that attracts her to him. This attraction doesn't please everyone and as things spiral out of control, events happen and nothing will be as it was before!

What happens and whether the story has a happy ending you'll have to read for yourself. If like me you enjoy modern well written magical fairy tales aimed at Adults then this book is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fell Flat 23 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It must be difficult to follow the success of an amazing first book such as Ali Shaw's The Girl With The Glass Feet so I do feel for the author but The Man Who Rained crashed and burned. Unlike his last book which was rich with imagery steeped in magic and strong in character his latest book fell flat and dull, it was a challenge just to get through it. The story, although unique, was lifeless and boring... it could have been so much more but it wasn't developed in any way. I am a big fan of mystic realism, it is one of my favourite genres but I did not like this book at all. Perhaps his next book will get back on track.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, mesmerising fairy tale for grownups 29 April 2012
By Gail HL
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As others, I, too, had read and loved "The Girl with Glass Feet", and was eager to read Ali Shaw's new offering. I wasn't disappointed.

As in his first book, I found the description so rich that I could immediately see all the places; I was there in Thunderstown. I admire the author's talent with metaphor - never does it seem forced or read as though he sat with a thesaurus at hand.

I loved the story and especially Dot, the ever-so-enlightened and mystical nun. I loved the idea that all the people who had been struck by lightening were cared for at the "nunnery" (a word I found oddly yet appropriately medieval), as though there were other tales to be told in Thunderstown.

I would have liked to see the lead baddie get his comeuppance, and maybe a wisp of enlightenment begin to creep into the town, but that's just the way I am.

I was disappointed to reach the end of the book, and its atmosphere is still clinging to me. The characters are still alive to me. I look forward to the next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars as magical as the first
Having enjoyed the girl with the glass feet I had to read this the second novel from a magical writer and was not disappointed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Southern
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best!
I somehow enjoyed the book, but it wasn't up to my expectations, after having read "The girl with the glass feet" a few years ago. In the "Girl with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. M. Fifield
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical and strange
Ali shaw writes some rather strange, but moving and unusual books. This is the second i've read, and though they Can be sad and leave some qüestions hanging, they are an... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Miss N A Collingwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful writing
This book would've been 3.5 stars for me, if I could award it a half star on Amazon.

I really loved Ali Shaw's first novel The Girl With Glass Feet. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Chrissi Read
4.0 out of 5 stars Another magical tale by Ali Shaw
Just like his previous book, the girl with glass feet, I fell in love with shaw's beautifully written story that seems to effortlessly blend fantasy with gritty reality. Read more
Published 16 months ago by R. Ziv
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical and compelling
This is a beautiful book - with, I felt, quite a profound spirituality of forgiveness and redemption - I thought about it for days after I had finished reading it - it left me with... Read more
Published 18 months ago by D B Herbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Had already read this myself having had it bought as present by son, loved it so much bought it for friend's birhtday.
Published 21 months ago by jasmin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical story
This is the second Ali Shaw book I have read. The author creates worlds in which many aspects appear normal, yet there are characters with unusual attributes. Read more
Published 23 months ago by CeeBee
4.0 out of 5 stars Thunderstown
"The man who rained" tells the story of a young woman who decides to leave New York and move to Thunderstown, a remote town surrounded by mountains and legends. Read more
Published on 30 July 2012 by Amapola
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but not good enough
After " feet" I had high expectations which weren't met. Some parts seemed too similar and others a little empty. Read more
Published on 22 May 2012 by JONATHAN EDWARD KAY
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