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3.6 out of 5 stars
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3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2006
Like the previous reviewer, I too found that the novel ended abruptly. I had to check to see whether the final chapters had been ripped out of my copy!
Aside from this, the array of characters were evocatively brought to life, but the total lack of conclusion left me feeling very let down.
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on 12 February 2013
It had been a while since I had read, "Season of the Rainbirds" by Nadeem Aslam and almost forgotten how much I loved it. I had just finished "The Blind Man's Garden" and thought of going back to this one. To relive the reading experience and ironically enough I loved it more this time than I had the last time. Every writer's first novel according to me gives the most insight to the kind of writer he or she will become and I believe in it to a very large extent. The first novel almost shapes the author's sensibilities and what he or she wants to communicate as a common theme in almost every book thereon. "Season of the Rainbirds" set the benchmark for Nadeem Aslam, where I was concerned.

"Season of the Rainbirds" is a book set in a small town in Pakistan, centering on the reappearance of a mysterious sack of letters lost in a train crash nineteen years ago. This is then supposedly said to be connected to Judge Anwar's death. From there on the story starts and the other characters begin to get embroiled in the plot. The differences in their opinions and lifestyles are evident and that is what makes them so different from each other that the read tends to be juicier. In such kind of a book there are secrets waiting to tumble and Nadeem provides us with just that. He gets into the skin of characters, so much so that in many places of the book you tend to think and more so believe that the characters have come from life, from people that he knew or knows of.

The plot seems to be thin in some places, however I ignored that because I was aware that this was his first book and also because I have read more of Aslam to know better. What got me going is Mr. Aslam's ability to almost turn this to a parallel mystery tale: What is in those letters? Why did they turn up after all these years and how? Only a writer like Nadeem Aslam can know how to propel the story to his intent and engage the reader - both logically and emotionally at every page. To me, that is the power of true writing and to also manage that with a first book says a lot about the writer. I would definitely recommend all his books; however, "Season of the Rainbirds" somehow will always hold a very special place in my heart.
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on 19 June 2010
While I agree with the other 2 reviewers about the disappointing ending I think the question is whether a story such as this needs an ending. The author shows us in great detail and with exquisite prose the everyday life in a Pakistani village in 1982. We meet the barber, the butcher as well as the local landowner who likes to throw his weight around. The women who live by certain rules and some who dare to break them. The poignancy of how this small community suffers their religious differences and harbours suspicions while far away someone has tried to kill their president. Enjoy the characters and this window into Pakistani life, I suggest it as a book group read then you can discuss how it should end.
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on 21 September 2005
I was confused from beginning to the end. It was not very good at introducing the main characters and the novel suddenly ended.
I am still none the wiser, and I have read the book!
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on 4 June 2016
I'm so so disappointed in this story. I cannot even begin to express my irritation. It doesn't delve into the 'lost letters' amongst which such juicy stories could have been told. The story line doesn't flow, nothing really happens and it's an absolute bore.
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on 1 May 2014
I have read other books by this author and found it quite difficult to stay with and extract the story from the intense style.
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on 14 January 2015
Great novel depicting how minority religions are treated in bigoted areas of Pakistan
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on 20 September 2014
PEOPLE,POLITICS AND RELIGION BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN
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on 12 July 2015
Was disappointed story didn't flow.
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on 21 January 2015
As good as the others
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