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The Gift of Rain (2007)

por Tan Twan Eng

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
1,1318417,474 (4.14)1 / 381
The first novel from the internationally bestselling, Booker-shortlisted author of The Garden of Evening Mists.
  1. 20
    An Artist of the Floating World por Kazuo Ishiguro (bibliobibuli)
    bibliobibuli: The Gift of Rain was greatly influenced by this book.
  2. 20
    The Samurai's Garden por Gail Tsukiyama (Limelite)
    Limelite: Another young interracial Chinese boy's coming of age during WWII, only this one is set in Japan.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 83 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
“Your were born with the gift of rain. Your life will be abundant with wealth and success. But life will test you greatly. Remember – the rain also brings the flood”

"Like the rain, I had brought tragedy into many people's lives but, more often than not, rain also brings relief, clarity, and renewal. It washes away our pain and prepares us for another day, and even another life. Now that I am old I find that the rains follow me and give me comfort, like the spirits of all the people I have ever known and loved."

The setting is the lush island of Penang, in Malaysia. The rumblings of WWII are just beginning. The story focuses mainly on 2 characters- Phillip Hutton, a mixed race young man, from an affluent family and an older mysterious Japanese man named Hayato Endo-san. How this strange and complex friendship evolves, in both good and tragic ways, is the heart of this wonderful and highly ambitious novel. Highly recommended. ( )
  msf59 | Sep 11, 2023 |
The primary narrator in this fine debut novel is Philip Hutton, English/Chinese son of a business man in Penang. He tells his story from his old age. Two other narrators appear across the novel set just before, during and after the Second World War. Tan’s sense of place starts with this debut and has carried on through his two later novels (I have managed to read his work backwards).

The heart of the novel is the relationship between Philip and his sensei (martial arts teacher) Endo-San, a Japanese man who has settled on the island belonging to Hutton’s family. Both find themselves outsiders, and as the Japanese invasion of Malaya (as it was then) ensues, the friendship is complicated by the choices they make.

Not for the faint hearted, this is a novel that will take most us to a place and part of history we have never read about and I certainly found fascinating.

It was a difficult to star rate, had I read it first I would have given it 5 stars, but having read the others first, I felt those very slightly worther of 5*s.

Highly recommended ( )
  Caroline_McElwee | Sep 7, 2023 |
It was beautifully written, but very hard to get into. Usually I enjoy lush descriptions of places, but even after the terrible action commenced, there were still so many descriptive paragraphs I found myself sailing over them. The main character, Phillip Khoo-Hutton, is Chinese and English, and always feels separate from his English siblings. I think that is what allows him to accept Endo-san as his teacher when the Japanese man rents the Hutton island for his home. From this relationship comes all of the actions and consequences in Phillip's life, and honestly, as a Westerner, I do not understand them. Collaborate with the Japanese to save his family? What was he thinking? He was forced to make some terrible choices, even though he eventually made some redeeming ones. This was a very hard book to read, and if I hadn't been reading it for my book group, I would have stopped 100 pages in. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Sep 7, 2023 |
Penang, Malasia, 1939. Phillip Hutton es un chico solitario y desubicado, mitad inglés y mitad chino, el hijo menor del dueño de una de las más importantes casas de comerciantes de Penang, que siempre se ha sentido fuera de lugar tanto en la comunidad británica como en la china. Una amistad ocasional con un diplomático japonés, el enigmático Hayato Endo, le descubre un nuevo mundo al que sí le gustaría pertenecer. Endo lo acoge como discípulo y le enseña las técnicas del aikido, un tipo de arte marcial, así como la lengua y cultura japonesas. Por primera vez, Phillip se siente atendido y corresponde a su sensei, al que profesa auténtica devoción y al que debe lealtad total. Sin embargo, esta relación le hará pagar un alto precio.
Cuando los japoneses invaden Malasia, tratando de destruir a su familia, su país y todo cuanto ama, Phillip descubre que Endo se debe a los suyos y a sus obligaciones, y que su amado maestro ha estado ocultando un secreto devastador. Inmerso en una lucha de lealtades, se verá obligado a convertirse en un intruso en su propia tierra, en alguien en quien nadie confía y al que todos odian. Tendrá que arriesgarse en un juego mortal para salvar todo aquello que le importa y descubrir realmente quién es él.
  Natt90 | Mar 23, 2023 |
Well, now I know why I obsessively finish books that I start despite being slapped down by books like The Pale King and One Hundred Years of Solitude (sorry Nicole!).

It's because there are, in fact, books like this one.

Boy did I want to quit reading this book. Set in China at the dawn of WWII, the first 150 pages were just doing absolutely nothing for me. I didn't care about the characters. I thought the description was overwrought and was slowing the pace of an already slow book. It was just painful.

And then, like that **snap**, some other author appeared on the scene and suddenly wrote an incredible book that really ought to be made into a movie, but has all the literary qualities a reader could want. The characters are so so bad, and so so good. And the action is endless. This author is not one who is afraid to kill off his characters . . .

Without revealing too much, the narrator has some major moral dilemmas, and goodness, by the end, you feel every single one of them.

At any rate, I do recommend the book highly despite the slow start. It's a terrific piece of historical fiction, and it deserved its place on the long list for the Man Booker. I'm not sure if everyone will feel as I did about the initial slow start. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for "setting the stage". I don't think it was an editing issue because the beginning is a necessity that makes the rest of the book work.

Dang, and I was just thinking maybe I could kick this need to finish every book I start. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
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"I am fading away. Slowly but surely. Like the sailor who watches his home shore gradually disappear, I watch my past recede. My old life still burns within me, but more and more of it is reduced to the ashes of memory." --The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby
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En vir Regter AJ Buys wat my geleer het hoe om te lewe.
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I was born with the gift of rain, an ancient soothsayer in an even more ancient temple once told me.
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“That is what growing old consists of, mostly. One starts giving away items and belongings until only the memories are left. In the end, what else do we really require?”
“Duty is a concept created by emperors and generals to deceive us into performing their will. Be wary when duty speaks, for it often masks the voice of others. Others who do not have your interests at heart.”
“You were born with the gift of rain. Your life will be abundant with wealth and success. But life will test you greatly. Remember—the rain also brings the flood.”
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The first novel from the internationally bestselling, Booker-shortlisted author of The Garden of Evening Mists.

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