STORY (suspense) - John Rain is half Japanese and half American. He was part of American special missions in Vietnam and experienced the atrocities o..Show More »f war. Now he finds himself having painful flashbacks and is unable to adapt to normal life. He sees himself as a shark who must keep swimming...a man who must keep killing. John makes his living as an assassin who specializes in making victims look like they died naturally, and he is sought by those who want to hire him and those who want to stop him. He is a likeable guy, and he has scruples. (Yeah, I know, an assassin with scruples?) You will like John and root for him.
This story is set in Tokyo. John kills a man and then later meets his lovely daughter, Midori, who is a jazz pianist. He learns she is in danger and tries to protect her. They have a romantic relationship, but it plays a very small part in the story. There is quite a bit of action and intrigue, and the story is fast-paced. John is expert at surveillance and pretty bad a$$ at martial arts, and his assassinations are creative. I enjoyed "visiting" the streets of Tokyo and hearing bits of Japanese culture and language. And I loved the ending.
PERFORMANCE - Barry Eisler, the author, performs his own work and does a great job. His Japanese sounded fluent, but I'm not one to judge. He had the perfect voice for John. Midori sounded a little masculine, but I was still glad that he gave her a distinctive voice.
OVERALL - There is quite a bit of violence and cussing and a teeny bit of non-explicit sex. This is the first book in a series and the story stands alone. I probably won't continue the series further because it's not my particular cup of tea, but all the books are very highly rated. Recommended for adult listeners, especially guys.
Without a doubt! I have now relistened to all of the John Rain books. I really like this series a lot. I had previously listened to a couple of them ..Show More »by a different narrator and was not to impressed with the books but with Eisler narrating they are fantastic. I can not believe the difference. I had originally found them to drag but I do believe that was due totally to the narrator. These books really move right along at a fast pace. WOW!
Winner Take All was originally published as Rain Storm with Brian Nishi narrating. I listened to Rain Storm three years ago and rated it 4 stars, but..Show More » did nor write a review. With Barry Eisler, the author, doing the narration (and also retitling the novel) it is a much better listening experience. Winner Take All is a solid 5 star John Rain novel with Eisler doing the narration. Eisler now narrates all of his own books.
I've tried the John Rain books before and wasn't a big fan, but then I tried the Ben Treven series and wanted more (there are only two so far). So, I ..Show More »went back to John Rain now that Barry Eisler is narrating them - WOW! What a difference. I'm now on a marathon and Love this series. I guess the reader really does make all the difference. This was such a good book. Great story, easy to follow and fast paced. Can't get over the difference, last Rain book I listened to I thought was boring, I'm relistening now and want them all.
In 2012 and 2013 Barry Eisler republished the first six novels in his John Rain series with new titles. Extermis, John Rain Book 5, was originally ti..Show More »tled The Last Assassin.
Extremis is one of Eisler's best novels and is a auperb action thriller. It is filled with action and suspense. It also shows more than any other book in the series the humanity and the emotional side of John Rain. I love this book and recommend it without qualification. Earlier books in the series provide some helpful background on Rain, Dox, Madori, Dalilah, ,and other characters, but Extremis provides sufficient background that reading the earlier books in the series is unnecessary.
When Eisler retitled the books, he also changed the narrator of the audiobooks to himself, an excellent improvement.
Eisler is a big name author of thrillers. He and other authors including J. A. (Joe) Konrath were leaders in the movement toward self publishing. All lovers of reading owe them a debt of gratitude for reducing the cost of books at retail. Previously unknown authors who could not get published, such as the superb British author Mark Dawson, owe them an even larger debt. Thank you Barry!
In this book Dox made it really great! His character is so humorous. I love the sense of humor attributed to him. Even through his brutal interrogati..Show More »on he maintains his sarcastic and cutting remarks. I truly hope there are no plans to kill him off anytime soon, he is a great addition to this series.
Fast pace book which is read by the author. Loved the book. Love the author.
I did rate the peformance with 4 stars to indicate that he ..Show More »is not really professional reader. He performs many of the characters very well but a few of them it gets confusing which character is speaking. I might also say I graded very hard...
This is a continuation of the John Rain character which started in the book Rain Fall. This book stands on it's own, but I recommend that your start with the first book.
Barry Eisler deserves an award for the subplot in this book. Being the parent of physically disabled daughters I was blown away by his interpretation ..Show More »and insight into the difficulties and obstacles (environmental and human) that block the lives of those with disabilities. I was also very impressed with him for having John Rain fall in love with her and go out of his way to convince her that there was nothing wrong with her and show her that she was still desirable. The main plot for me was almost secondary, and I do not read chic lit! I will say though that the thriller part of this story was fantastic as well. I liked the way it was written in the first person, as a mature adult reflecting on his life.