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The Gift of Rain
by Tan Twan Eng | Literature & Fiction
Registered by Heaven-Ali of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 8/28/2007
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Heaven-Ali): permanent collection


6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Having read reviews of this on Amazon I had to buy it and read it almost immediately.

Synopsis
Penang, 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton is a loner. Half English, half Chinese and feeling neither, he discovers a sense of belonging in an unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip shows his new friend around his adored island of Penang, and in return Endo trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip's family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei - to whom he owes absolute loyalty - has been harbouring a devastating secret. Philip must risk everything in an attempt to save those he has placed in mortal danger and discover who and what he really is. With masterful and gorgeous narrative, replete with exotic and captivating images, sounds and aromas - of rain swept beaches, magical mountain temples, pungent spice warehouses, opulent colonial ballrooms and fetid and forbidding rainforests - Tan Twan Eng weaves a haunting and unforgettable story of betrayal, barbaric cruelty, steadfast courage and enduring love.

This is one of those books that will live on in my memory for a long time. The story itself is unforgettable, often sad and brutal it recreates a devastating period in history. The writing itself though is wonderful, I started to feel I knew Penang and its people and saw every terrible thing that happened there, but also saw the lush beauty of Endo-San's island. Tan Twan Endo skillfully allows the reader to witness this most violent and cruel of times without it ever becoming so ugly that you want to skip parts or look away.

I have just finished reading this book and have registered it so that I can ring it - I think I would like to collect others opinions on it.

Ring for UK/western Europe

Ring list ( subject to changes)

Willowfae - Uk (UK)
Dorothyredboots - UK (UK)
scotsbookie - UK (anywhere
Quak - Germany (anywhere) - it's here
LeishaCamden - Norway (anywhere)


Back to me Heaven-Ali

 


Journal Entry 2 by Heaven-Ali at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 10 yrs ago (9/18/2007 UTC) at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

 


Journal Entry 3 by Willowfae from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, September 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This arrived yesterday, thanks Heaven-Ali. I read the first chapter whilst sat in the car waiting for DH to finish work having just been to pick it up :) 


Journal Entry 4 by Willowfae from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I have posted this book on. My apologies for keeping it so long. :(

I tried and tried to get into it, as I normally love this kind of book, but for some reason I just couldn't. 


Journal Entry 5 by Dorothyredboots from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 22, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived with me safely today. I'm reading about three things at once at the moment - eek! Will get to this just as soon as I can. 


Journal Entry 6 by Dorothyredboots from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, June 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I admire this book very much. The writing is superb; Tan Twan Eng does a marvellous job of bringing alive Penang and all the other locations in the book. The subject matter is challenging and the brutality and cruelty are presented in a very moving way. The book addresses a lot of big themes: racial identity, moral dilemma, self interest versus selflessness, loyalty to family and/or friends, enduring love. In the main the novel deals with them very well. The book falls into two halves and the narrative pace only picks up in Part II, as the tensions grow and the plot 'thickens'. I particularly enjoyed the parts of the novel dealing with the complex relationship between Philip and Endo and I found the portrayal of this relationship very thought provoking indeed. My main critism of the book is that I although I felt the places jumped off the page the characters remained somewhat 'flat': but this may have been intentional on the part of the author.

So on the whole I thought the book an excellent piece of writing. However, on a personal level I found it a challenge to relate to it - the events described are so far from my own experience. This is of course my problem and nothing to do with the quality of the book. My overall reaction to it is best described as admiration rather than liking. Thank you heaven-Ali for offering the chance to read this. I shall read the comments of others with interest.

I have the address for scotsbookie and will be posting this on tomorrow (all being well). 


Journal Entry 7 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, June 05, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received this morning, thank you Dorothyredboots. #2 on mount TBR. 


Journal Entry 8 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, June 26, 2008

9 out of 10

A haunting read, that wil stay with me for some time. Both Philip & Endo-san make exceptionally difficult decisions in order to help their families. The author manages to convey the brutality of that time without resorting to vivid descriptions.

My brother lived in Japan for 17 years & now lives in Malayasia so this book had meaning for me on several reasons. Thank you Heaven-Ali for the chance to read this thought provoking book. I already have quak's details & will get it on its travels asap. 


Journal Entry 9 by scotsbookie at to a fellow bookcrosser in Bookring, a postal release -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, July 02, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 10 yrs ago (7/3/2008 UTC) at to a fellow bookcrosser in Bookring, a postal release -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

 


Journal Entry 10 by quak from München, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, July 08, 2008

9 out of 10

Arrived today. Thanks for mailing the book, scotsbookie. Thanks for the ring Heaven-Ali.

01/10/08: started reading and already like it.

02/11/08: I loved the book. Just took me so long to read as there is a lot to do at the moment. Sorry for keeping the book so long.
It was really nice to learn so many things about Penang and also about aikijutsu. It was also very interesting to read about the Japanese and the war again from another perspective. I've already read about that from other perspectives so it was another piece that I could add to my picture.
The writing is wonderful and although very cruel things are described you never want to turn away. There is also a lot about feelings in the book and a lot of wisdom.
I'm thinking about getting my own copy of this wonderful book. Thanks for sharing! 


Journal Entry 11 by quak at -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Bayern Germany on Thursday, November 13, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (11/10/2008 UTC) at -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Bayern Germany

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent to next reader. 


Journal Entry 12 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Monday, November 17, 2008

This book has not been rated.

This arrived in the mail from Germany a couple of days ago. What a beautiful book to look at ... and judging by the JEs it's gotten so far it seems likely to be a fascinating read as well. I have a few other rings and rays ahead of it so it may take me a little while to read it, but I will do so as soon as I can. Thank you Ali for sharing!!

I will journal again when I've read the book. 


Journal Entry 13 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, January 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I finally got around to starting on this book on Friday. I'm sorry for taking so long! So far it's ... very well written, but hasn't really hooked me yet. Interesting setting though.

I'll write more when I've finished the book. 


Journal Entry 14 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, January 08, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Having sent pm's requesting an updte on the status of this book, none of which have been answered, I can only assume that this book has stalled - a shame as this was one I really wanted to keep. 


Journal Entry 15 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, January 10, 2010

This book has not been rated.

OMG, I still have this book!!! :-o Heaven-Ali, you are totally right, this book is still with me, in totally the wrong pile of books that's been sitting in my guest room way too long!! I am SO sorry to have been holding on to this one for so long. I have read it of course, and then I have put it aside with other books that I was planning to journal, and then I've obviously forgotten all about it. *hangs head in shame* I am so sorry ... !!!

I hope you can forgive me, I will of course get the book back to you asap. I will send it out to you this week. I'm sorry to say I didn't get any PMs about it - I have had quite a lot of trouble with PMs - I am so glad that you decided to journal the book. I will PM you with my email address so that you can send me your snail mail address and I will get the book in the mail this coming week.

Again, I'm sorry ... !! I will write another JE with some thoughts on the book tomorrow, and then send it out as soon as I get your address. 


Journal Entry 16 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Friday, January 15, 2010

This book has not been rated.

So, I did read this book ... ages ago, obviously ... and I liked it very much, I thought it was a fascinating story very well written, with very believable characters and a convincing setting. It's obvious that the author knows his setting very well and has done a lot of research into the historical period - I was entirely convinced by his recreation of the era. Of course I don't know much about Malaysian history in the early 20th century, so I'd be easy to fool if something was off ;-) but I found the backdrop of the story very convincing. The story itself is quite sad, Philip is a sad character ... I just felt throughout the book that terrible things would happen. Partly I guess because of the setting - it's 1939, so of course awful things will happen - but also because of the language and the imagery; the author is very good at creating moods with his descriptions. The language is very evocative and quite poetic.

The head waiter seated us on the verandah, giving us a view of the lights of the town below, which flowed inland like a tide of white phosphoresence from the water's edge at Weld Quay. The seas enclosing Penang were unseen in the darkness, and only granules of light indicated where the boats were.

'Granules of light' ... I like that. :-) A lovely read in every way, although sad. Thank you again for sharing, HeavenAli!! 


Journal Entry 17 by LeishaCamden at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, January 16, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (1/15/2010 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way home, finally!! :-) 


Journal Entry 18 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived home today - thank you so much for getting it back to me LeishaCamden.

This will rest on my PC shelves now. Thank you everyone for reading and commenting. 


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