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Graveyard of Memories (A John Rain Novel) Paperback – 11 Feb 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (11 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477818162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477818169
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.8 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Bestselling and award-winning author Barry Eisler writes black ops thrillers with the assurance of one who knows: for three years he held a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. Afterward, he became a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s thrillers have earned numerous distinctions, including the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year. He’s been on numerous “Best Of” lists, and his work—including the #1 bestseller The Detachment—has been translated into nearly twenty languages. When not writing novels, he blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
First things first: do you need to buy this book? If you have read and enjoyed some of the previous John Rain adventures
then you can simply hit purchase, sit back and enjoy a John Rain as you have never seen before. If you are new to the
books or still in doubt, please, keep reading.

John Rain is a killer, an assassin. He is precise, methodical, highly trained and lethal in hand to hand combat, and experienced in all things related to surveillance. But John Rain is also a man, emotional at times and not strange to love and suffering. In the previous books we had a clear glimpse of Rain's capabilities and flows, but the question of how he became the man he is now still remained.

Graveyard of memories is the link between Rain's past and present. It portrays a young, impulsive an inexperienced John when he was only 20, immediately after his experience in Vietnam. At this time he is working as a bagman for the CIA in Tokyo. During one of the exchanges he gets attacked by a group of Yakuza and he kills one of the thugs. This, unknowingly to John, is the first step of a long path full of death that will make him the hitman we know and love (somehow).

The plot is typical Eisler style: full of twists and turns, violence and love that keep the reader riveted to the book until it is all over.
Eisler delves inside the past of John Rain, his relationship with parents, his traumas for the atrocities of the war that make him more at ease with violence than with talking to women.

At the same time, as in all Eisler's books, the city of Tokyo and Japanese culture are equally protagonist of the story. John Rain's appreciation for some of the idiosyncrasies of Japan are clearly the result of Eisler's love for this culture.
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Having read all of Barry Eisler's previous novels (including the less that stellar Treven series) and most of his short stories I would consider myself a fan. As with most authors some of his books are better than others, with the earlier Rain novels generally being stronger than the more recent efforts in my opinion. Graveyard of Memories continues that pattern by not being a bad effort but also not being amongst Eisler's better works.

It has some obvious strengths, with its portrayal of 70's Tokyo being one of them. The book gives the reader a genuine feel for the city during that period of rapid economic growth just prior to the 80's boom. The action is also up to the usual high standards we expect of Eisler. It was also intriguing to meet the young, callow, ill-disciplined John Rain in his pre-uber-cool-assassin days and to get a better understanding of where he came from.

Where the books falls down however, is in the plot, which I found both overly convoluted and not particularly involving. I have no problem with twisting, complex plots, full of betrayals and intrigue. I just prefer the convolutions to feel less forced than they do here. As for the lack of emotional involvement, whilst the danger Rain finds himself in feels genuine the fact that this is prequel to the earlier books he features in leave no doubt that he will survive and we never really learn enough about any of the other characters, good or bad, to care much about their eventual fates. Without an emotional involvement in the story as it unfolds I remained curiously detached throughout and found it easy to put the book down during even the most exciting passages.

Even the token love interest sub-plot that Eisler throws in failed to generate any additional sense of genuine jeopardy.
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Although this is the eighth book featuring John Rain, it is a prequel of sorts. Going back to when he started out as an assassin for hire.

There is a rather uneasy sense of the narrator explaining something that happened in the distant past, with a smattering of hindsight layered over things.

The story does not entirely gel, the action sequences are taut and engaging, the Japanese setting is a real strength of the book, but at times it can feel a bit like a Rough Guide. The story is set in 1972, but for most westerners we could not particularly tell the difference between Tokyo in 1972 and Tokyo now. I would however have thought that there might have been more mention of trams.

The introduction of a disabled character was well intentioned, but ultimately does not really work.

This is an engaging and entertaining thriller, but far below the standard of the best of the John Rain books.
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Excellent addition to the series. The more recent books were getting a bit stale with the "lovey dovey Delilah" and "what a great guy Dox is" plot lines. This is back to the harder style of the earlier novels. I like the fact the author is not shy about using his vocabulary, it's Copacetic. And what can I say about the Morgue scene! I laughed out loud on the train and people looked at me like I was a nutter! Barry you are a very bad man! ;)
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Later books in the John Rain series have not really been to my tastes. This is an easy book to recommend. Well written with a believable fallible "hero" who wouldn't need a zimmer frame.
Best book by Barry Eisler in some time - just buy it.
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