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337 Reviews
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104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and profound read on the Booker List
One of the most readable literary titles on this year's unpredictably eclectic Man Booker Longlist. Highly enjoyable and intricate but without being preachy and tedious. The story of a mixed-blood English young man in pre-war Malaya who befriends a Japanese diplomat.

The writing sometimes rises to poetry without being incomprehensible, and the author never...
Published on 3 Sep 2007 by S. Charter

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally draining novel about wartime collaboration
Set in Penang, Malaya, this novel spans decades, from the dying days of the Chinese imperial court, to the collapse of the British empire to Japanese hostilities in World War Two.

This novel is emotionally draining. Tan Twan Eng is a very talented writer, he made me sympathise with so many of the characters, but especially Philip, who's life is so tragic that I...
Published 14 months ago by Miss A C R Finch


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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 10 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Kindle Edition)
I chose this book because it was Booker prize nominated and because I wanted to learn more about the troubles in Malaya.
It was a wonderful read, beautifully written and totally gripping. I learned a lot about the Malayan emergency and the various nationals involved.
I was gripped by the characters and touched by them---I didn't want the book to end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First class writing, 5 Jan 2013
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A fine piece of work. The author creates in his hero and his mentor two of the most complex characters in modern literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The gift of Rain, 24 Dec 2012
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A gripping book,and although fictional, I found it so moving and heart wrenching at times. Many a lesson learnt of mankind in this book; people are not always as they seem but maybe we are destined to meet them for a reason.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gift of Rain, 17 Dec 2012
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Gift of Rain
I found this book quite compulsive reading .Good characterisation and interesting plot. Set in Malaysia during turbulent times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful read, 2 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Paperback)
This was a recommendation to our reading group and every one of us loved it . It covers a time and place about which we were woefully ignorant and it was a truly enriching read. Will read his next book too now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Effort, 25 Aug 2012
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Roger Miller (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Paperback)
Ok at 500 pages this book requires stamina but the easy writing style and compelling narrative made it worthwhile.It is a WWW2 story but the issues of loyalty,self discipline, identity and morality are timeless and thought provoking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellously imaginative and mysterious., 17 May 2012
This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Paperback)
I have just read this book for the second time and been overwhelmed again by its sheer beauty and imaginative storyline. As a student of comparative religion, and of Zen Buddhism in particular, I found myself sharing much of the book's spiritual insights. The author's own spiritual beliefs are no less important than the plot itself.

Not only has Tan Twan Eng written a powerful and gripping story, but he has provided the reader with a wonderful study of the culture in which the novel is set. His images of the sea, of sunny and rain drenched beaches, of mysterious and secret temples are extraordinarily evocative. Its as if the reader is there sharing the scenes. A gentle humour pervades the narrative interspersed with intervals of great sadness and tragedy. Much research and effort much have gone into its creation. There are several accounts of the martial arts that are characteristic of Japanese culture and their spiritual meaning.

I was moved to tears several times, especially towards the closing chapters of the book. This is a magnificent novel, unusual and almost autobiographical in its composition. I love the way in which the events described move to a climax. To find out what happens - read the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Publisher; better editing please, 11 May 2012
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This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Kindle Edition)
I concur with all the positive things said about this novel, but have one small but I believe relevant criticism. The text needs a deal more careful editing. Many words have unnecessary and annoying hyphens inserted into them, and certain lines of dialogue seem broken up in an illogical way.

Otherwise I was enchanted by this writer's command of expression.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic debut novel, 6 May 2012
This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Kindle Edition)
I won't repeat what others have already said except to add to their praise. I really enjoyed this book and would go so far as to say it has entered the realms of my favourite books.Would thoroughly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, the Best Book I've Read for a Long Time., 9 April 2012
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N. Cawsey (Bristol, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gift of Rain (Kindle Edition)
I am really sad that I've finished this as I enjoyed it so much, although the ending was perfect and I couldn't have wished for more. It was beautifully written; I had never heard of the book or the author (my ignorance) but was referred to it by a friend who told me it was a 'must read'. She was absolutely right - it is a cracker!! Should become a modern classic, required reading in schools - both for the history and the skillful, poetic writing. It is never boring,a constant page turner and a very strong story. I can't praise it enough!
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The Gift of Rain
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Hardcover - 8 Mar 2007)
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