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The Gift of Rain | [Tan Twan Eng]

The Gift of Rain

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. But when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip's family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted friend has been harbouring a devastating secret.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

But when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip's family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted friend has been harbouring a devastating secret.

©2007 Tan Twan Eng (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (5 )
5 star
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4.8 (5 )
5 star
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Story
4.5 (4 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • SDY
    Australia
    8/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The perfect novel"

    A wonderful setting for a very compelling story about friendship and responsibility. I'm not a fan of war novels but this book won me over. The prose is superb, and both narrators are excellent. Certainly an audio book I will listen to again.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Gillingham, United Kingdom
    5/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Emotional"

    Such a poignant story beautifully read, I felt transported to another era, so descriptive of character, place and emotion - I don't think reading it would have made it so alive. Highly commended

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Heike
    Heidelberg, Germany
    11/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful novel about a dark part in history"

    I absolutely loved this book and it got me hooked after the first 10 minutes. The story itself is in parts cruel and very sad but described in beautiful prose with gentle words. I never read anything about the Japanese occupation of Malaysia during the second World War. The idea to describe it as an account of his life an elderly half-English half-Chinese Gentlemen gives to a friend makes it easier to listen to all the cruelties. I also liked the fact that it was recorded by two different narrators. For me it was the best book I listened to this year and I would fully recommend it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Heidi
    United Kingdom
    3/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful story - an unexpected gift"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Gift of Rain to be better than the print version?

    The narrators were good and really brought the story alive. The voices seemed to fit their characters, both in gentleness and strength. I would definitely recommend the audio edition of the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was placed in a setting I knew very little about. The different elements of the Chinese, Japanese and British culture, way of thinking, beliefs and behaviour were fascinating. The story was deep and moving and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Watchet, Somerset, United Kingdom
    2/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fine book"

    This is a well written story about dark times in world history. While providing insights into the history of the Japanese occupation of Malaysia, it shows what can influence people, faced with disappointments, threats and dangers. It explores how reactions to such things can be driven by issues like friendship, love, duty and loyalties. It is gripping and is likely to provoke emotional reactions in the reader/listener.

    The narration is, for the most part, very good, although some of the accents employed leave a little to be desired.

    Thoroughly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Haughton, United Kingdom
    9/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow...what an epic tale ...and I cried"
    What did you like most about The Gift of Rain?

    The pace of the storytelling is great...not too many descriptive chunks. Even though you can work out what is going to happen its still a shock when it finally does...perhaps like the invasion itself. Its all in the suspense?


    What other book might you compare The Gift of Rain to, and why?

    Obviously Garden in the Mists by the same author. I liked that better by the way but still am happy I have listened to both.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Two voices for the old and young philip was very good...the japanese accent was pretty awfull though. You jsut have to suspend youir belief as IU am sure endo san would not have sounded like a boxer from the east end....


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Every time we lost one of the major characters....heartbreaking.


    Any additional comments?

    Read it....its great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Little Whelnetham, United Kingdom
    8/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh dear just so boring"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different plot


    What could Tan Twan Eng have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Stop bashing on about all the Japanese marshall arts moves etc


    What aspect of Gordon Griffin and Luke Thompson ’s performance might you have changed?

    Nothing really


    What character would you cut from The Gift of Rain?

    Did not finish it...life too short to persevere


    Any additional comments?

    Will be asking for refund if I can work how

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gwenllian
    Exeter, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Gift"
    Would you listen to The Gift of Rain again? Why?

    I am listening to it again! So interesting to re read/listen when you have insight into the characters and story. And it won't be the last time, I think you can gain so much from a subsequent reading.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist. Honesty; acknowledged loneliness. Interesting character development through impossible choices.


    What about Gordon Griffin and Luke Thompson ’s performance did you like?

    Really excellent narration, genuine love for the story and empathy for the characters came through.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    An incredibly tragic time in history.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book for a group to discuss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ella
    United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A moving and intriguing historical adventure story"
    Where does The Gift of Rain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a really interesting story, well told, though some of the accents are a little embarrassing!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the way it combined an exciting historical adventure with a very emotive exploration of the relationships between different groups in Malaya during and in the run up to WW2.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Halland, United Kingdom
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting little yarn"
    Would you listen to The Gift of Rain again? Why?

    No. Heard it, enough. Good story but no reason to listen again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Nothing. A good all round tale, bit of history, bit of emotional conflict, bit too much martial arts. Fine.


    What about Gordon Griffin and Luke Thompson ’s performance did you like?

    They were convincing and unobtrusive.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    To be honest, although there was a lot of personal emotional conflict I really did not feel for any of the characters. I did not find them particularly sympathetic, stuff happens, decisions are made. Interesting but I wouldn't go out for a drink with any of them. Rather too much naval contemplation for me. Live with it.


    Any additional comments?

    Good tale with plenty to think about vis the morality of the situations. No doubt many will find the obsession with the martial arts fascinating, I found it . . . .obsessive. Interesting in smaller doses but . . . .quite obsessive and detracting from the story. All in all a good listen skilfully written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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