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The Garden of Evening Mists Audiobook

The Garden of Evening Mists

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Publisher's Summary

Short listed for the Man Booker Prize 2012.

Malaya, 1949. After a career spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh - herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp - seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya. There she meets the enigmatic Aritomo, an exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Yun Ling asks Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister. But the jungle holds secrets of its own…

©2012 Tan Twan Eng (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (23 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.1 (23 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.9 (23 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Nancy Luey New Zealand 12-01-16
    Nancy Luey New Zealand 12-01-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I found this book boring"

    I read 80% of this book and could not read any more. I found it thoroughly boring. Lots of words but nothing actually happening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ej 02-25-15
    ej 02-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful story and brilliant narration"

    An engrossing picturesque novel, superbly written. The narration is equally impressive. I am sure the story will remain with me forever..The brilliance of both the writing and the narration make for an unforgettable experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Johannesburg, South Africa 08-18-13
    Jennifer Johannesburg, South Africa 08-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant listen"
    Any additional comments?

    A great book which makes the consequences of war and life under colonial rule for ordinary people very real. The South African accent slips quite a bit, but not enough to be distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 01-03-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 01-03-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    425
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    560
    107
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    I have listened to half of this book. I dislike it. It is contrived and unbelievable. The book tries to do too much, and thus does nothing well. The characters do not pull you in; they stay there flat between the pages of the book.

    IF you decide you DO want to read it, do not pick the audiobook narrated by Anna Bentinck!!!!! The book is set in three different time periods. This is more confusing in an audiobook than in a paper book. I do NOT like the narration. There are Chinese and Japanese characters. When all but one of them speaks, you will cringe. Ask yourself to mimic a Chinese person trying to speak English. THAT is what you have to listen to here. It may be typically correct, but it is ever so unpleasant.

    Oh, and I keep falling asleep as I listen to this book! Some lines are poetic and beautiful, but essentially lulling. I have started over several times, but each time I fall asleep!

    Then I got mad, and went back again. But it was so:
    1. boring (I HAVE listened to this.)
    2. and confusing (Which time period am I in now?)
    3. and annoying (Ugh, must I listen to this pigeon-English?)
    4. and contrived (Romance, hidden treasure, murder, internment camps, Communist terrorists....)
    5. and unbelievable (Central figure, the sole survivor of a Japanese Internment camp, agrees to become an apprentice gardener to a famed Japanese gardener, the gardener of Emperor Hirohito! And the details make it even more unbelievable. She manages to lift huge stones, agrees to remove her gloves that protect her hands that were damaged in the camp so she can feel the e-a-r-t-h..... Yup, not only unbelievable, but melodramatic too. I forgot to mention the serious medical problem.)

    So I am stubborn. I cannot just quit this book, can I? I went then to Wikipedia and looked it up. What is ahead of me? OMG, it is not going to get more believable. No, I cannot take this anymore! This book goes back to Audible! I LOVE that Audible lets you return books.

    The good things: some pretty lines and a teeny bit taught about Japanese gardens. They ARE truly magnificent. Should I give this book two stars? How can I do that if I absolutely cannot finish it?!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • anhalf
    8/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "beautifully written, superb narration"

    loved this, swept away by the wonderful descriptions. highly recommended.. Narration excellent, made characters come alive. tragic, uplifting,poignant.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • susiesmith
    10/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written, moving story."

    Thorughly convincing story of a woman's experience of survival during the Japanese occupation of Malaya, and her subsequent return to life in the aftermath of being a prisoner of war and losing her beloved sister. Moving and insightful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. L. Lawson
    uk
    9/1/17
    Overall
    "Surprise"

    Good reading but at confusing when the story went from present to past its was quite sad in some chapter

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • hfffoman
    Kent
    10/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly special"
    Any additional comments?

    Not more than once a decade I read a novel that gives me so much pleasure and admiration that it stands out as a pinnacle on the landscape of life's experiences. This is one such book.

    I will say little about the story as I want everyone to approach it fresh. It is about memory and forgetting, impermanence and loss, pain and mental strength, suffering and the burden of suffering, art and nature. It is sad and uplifting on every page. It inspires admiration both for the characters and for the aspects of eastern culture it describes. It delves into humanity, dealing with serious issues sensitively and profoundly and resisting, with the assured touch of a master of literature, every opportunity for cheap drama or trite sentiment.

    The reading is sensitive and nicely phrased though unfortunately she can't do a South African accent.

    I put some extended quotes in my amazon.co.uk review

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carla
    4/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best book I've read (listened to) in a long time"

    This book recounts the experiences of a recently retired Chinese-Malaysian judge who was interned by the Japanese during World War 2. The prose is poetic, and the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns - a definite must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gillian
    12/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A powerful story"

    Powerful and beautiful reflection of human frailty. The characters to respect and love for their individuality - principled characters with flaws reflecting cultural traditions as well as personal weakness and vanity.
    Beautifully and professionally narrated.
    This will be a favorite of mine for a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michele
    Cranleigh, United Kingdom
    8/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent historical novel"
    If you could sum up The Garden of Evening Mists in three words, what would they be?

    I was so convinced this was an autobiography having got half way through it I had to google it to find out! The detail in the descriptions and the sense of absolute reality were incredible. I didn't want it to end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Garden of Evening Mists?

    There are so many.


    What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

    she sounded as if she had the voice of the central character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this on recommendation of a friend of ours who is a keen gardner. I seriously recommend you buy it too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    KILMACOLM, United Kingdom
    4/26/13
    Overall
    "Boring Narrator"

    I am sure this is a great piece of work and a very appealing scenario too.

    However I simply could not listen to the narrator any longer than four chapters!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Vanna
    Dorset
    3/24/13
    Overall
    "Involving and - at the end - very affecting"

    As quite often happens to me, at the beginning I thought I wasn't going to 'warm' to this, but it grew on me. I really enjoyed the story and the many characters. Inevitably all the answers to the questions were not answered but the theme meant that this was inevitable. It moves between times in the life of the narrator which are sometimes difficult to follow but do not seriously interfere with understanding the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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