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The Garden of Evening Mists Audiobook

The Garden of Evening Mists

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Publisher's Summary

Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan.

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes". Then she can design a garden for herself.

As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

©2012 Tan Twan Eng (P)2012 W.F. Howes

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (407 )
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  •  
    KT All Over the US 06-14-15
    KT All Over the US 06-14-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "This Book is Absolute Perfection"

    With most books, the author either has you root for the main character (despite their flaws), or has you love the main character because they're so darn cool. It takes incredible skill and enormous courage for an author to force the reader to squirm from discomfort because we may not actually LIKE the main character and we may not find much endearing about her at all. We may not actually be able to forgive some actions of the main character but it doesn't mean we're not with her throughout the story, keeping her at a distance but utterly engrossed.

    That kind of writing happens once in a blue moon but Tan Twan Eng has done it. This novel is pure poetry. It forces the reader to question their own morality, to ask themselves "Do I REALLY know what I would do in such a situation? Do I have the right to judge others, having never been in those circumstances?"

    Anna Bentinck does a brilliant job. Her accents are fantastic (though admittedly not always accurate) and she portrays the main character with the perfect amount of "chilliness".

    Early on in the book, I immediately judged the Professor as some bit player, an insignificant nobody. However, as the book unfolds, the Professor, as a human being, becomes heartbreakingly unforgettable.

    This is my favorite book of all time. I'm desperate for Audible to have his other book, Gift of Rain, narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RSH 12-24-13
    RSH 12-24-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Garden of Evening Mists to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare The Garden of Evening Mists to and why?

    The Gift of Rain by the same author. Two of the finest literary achievements in the last several decades.


    What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Marvelous nuance


    If you could take any character from The Garden of Evening Mists out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Silly question. I'd prefer to have dinner with the author or narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an exquisite work beautifully performed. I only wish an equally talented male narrator (Jonathan Aris) would be commissioned to narrate The Gift of Rain by the Tan Twan Eng.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States 07-20-13
    Robert GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2009
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    "An artfully told tale, beautifully narrated"
    What did you love best about The Garden of Evening Mists?

    Interestingly, what I loved best is the performance. The author gives us characters from a variety of countries speaking English in distinctive accents. Ms. Bentinck's performance brings these voices to life so beautifully that, at times, you find yourself not caring so much about the slowly unfolding story as you are captivated by the sound of the characters. And while the story does build slowly, it builds very surely. The author has you firmly in his grip.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a gripping story filled with moral ambiguities and interesting surprises. It is beautifully constructed, like the artwork described within the story. The author uses language in many beautiful ways.


    Any additional comments?

    Just beautiful; a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Kentucky 06-03-17
    Sam Kentucky 06-03-17 Member Since 2014

    Sammy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A trip to Malaysia in my Mind"

    This book, beautifully written, brought me back to my own time in Malaysia and Singapore. I loved disappearing into it each day. The reading was well done and caught the accents from the region in a fair manner. However, I did find the book a bit long in places especially the earlier and middle chapters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Montclair, NJ United States 05-15-17
    Christine Montclair, NJ United States 05-15-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Beautiful book, Narrators interpretation of characters confusing"

    Beautiful story full of interesting characters and history, but I found the reader's interpretation of the characters voices and the switching of accents of the many characters, through different periods, to be confusing at times and annoying at others. Many people I know who have read the book have loved it. I think it is such a descriptive book that one would enjoy this book better to be able to create ones own characters from the words alone, rather than from someone else's interpretation through narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane F. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 03-03-17
    Diane F. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 03-03-17 Member Since 2007
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    "A garden of delights for the reader"
    If you could sum up The Garden of Evening Mists in three words, what would they be?

    Lyrical, informative, compelling


    What did you like best about this story?

    The panorama of Malaya just after WWII encompasses the Japanese concentration camps, the glory of the Japanese garden, the art of the tattoo, a narrator who is moving toward dementia, all told by a wonderful reader.


    Have you listened to any of Anna Bentinck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Who was the most memorable character of The Garden of Evening Mists and why?

    The old Japanese gardener, who was the Emperor's gardener, now building a life and garden in Malaya.


    Any additional comments?

    For the reader who enjoys beautiful writing, with dollops of history and the arts, told in first person, present tense, to establish a rhythm and quiet calm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MURRAY 12-06-16
    MURRAY 12-06-16 Member Since 2012

    RABID READER

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    "Poetic"

    Poetic literature with the heartbreaking history of the narrating character revealed mystically. Enjoyed the narration and the character voice personas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perry Carrison 08-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Iron Orchid"
    What did you love best about The Garden of Evening Mists?

    This is an exquisite tale of abuse, self-sufficient survival...and a slow recovery of self. It's set in the exotic (to me) culture of Malaysia during-and-after WWII. An iron-willed Malaysian girl is imprisoned by the marauding Japanese during their invasion of the island at the start of WWII. All is lost during her imprisonment...except her will. She survives but the cost of that survival is significant. Yet, as wounded and defended as she is, she allows life to bring her out of her emotional confinement through her relationship with a Japanese gardener and an Afrikaner champion. The book is unforgettable.


    What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader, Anna Bentinck, embodies the complexity of characters...in all of their complexity...with wit and depth. I loved her performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aisha 07-14-16
    Aisha 07-14-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Beautifully and poetically written."

    A story line about experiences foreign to a Caribbean person but which captured my heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Long 06-05-16
    D. Long 06-05-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "incredibly confusing"

    Author continually switched between past and present. Motivations for relationships unclear. Narration was very good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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