Thursday, August 30, 2007

65. "The Gift of Rain" - Tan Twan Eng



The first sample from the Man Booker prize long list, I almost decided to refrain from reading the other nominees because this book had such an impact on me. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, the taste of The Gift of Rain will linger for years.

Philip Hutton is half Chinese, half British, and 100 percent alone. When he meets a Japanese sensei, Endo-san, he finds his needs for love and acceptance through his work as a student of aikido, a Japanese form of fighting and mental strength.

When World War II begins, the Japanese invade Philip's island of Penang. To save his father and siblings, Philip agrees to work with the Japanese, but to mixed ends.

Rich in Chinese and Japanese culture, reading this book feeds the imagination and the soul. His descriptions are unique and beautiful, based in observations of nature. It was a four-day excursion into another world, one full of beauty, hate, regret, memory. If only all books could create such an imprint on the soul.

4.9 out of 5.0 Green Tea Vodkas.

6 comments:

Joy said...

Wow, a 4.9! I'm placing this one on the TBR list! :) Thank you.

Jason said...

Just a hypothetical here, but . . .

What do you think this book's impact would be on those of us who are soulless?

Sounds like a good read, anyway. Onto the list it goes.

Poppadumdum said...

A thought-provoking review. It's heartening to read how a book can affect a reader so much. Thanks! Have a look at www.thebookaholic.blogspot.com

NancyO said...

I totally agree with you about the effects of this book. I read it myself a few days ago and I am still thinking about it. It was truly an amazing story.

Lostcheerio said...

Wow, now *that* is a recommendation. I like the cover too. I also like the fact that you're not afraid of openly glowing over something.

Diana Raabe said...

I have to agree that this was a stellar literary effort. The New Yorker didn't seem to like it as much as you - or I did - but you know what they say: One man's fruit is another man's candy. The Gift of Rain renewed my faith in 21st century literature.