The Gift of Rain

Tan, Twan Eng

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Gift of Rain
An epic novel nominated for the Man Booker Prize, this extraordinary debut tells the story of a young man's perilous journey through the betrayals of war and into manhood. Written in lush, evocative prose, The Gift of Rain spans decades as it takes readers from the final days of the Chinese emperors to the dying era of the British Empire, and through the mystical temples, bustling cities, and forbidding rain forests of Malaya.

Publisher: New York : Weinstein Books, c2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781602860247
Branch Call Number: FICTION TAN 2008
Characteristics: 435 p. :,maps ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

Join the discussion on March 17, 2015. This remarkable debut saga of intrigue and akido flashes back to a darkly opulent WWII-era Malaya. Phillip Hutton, 72, lives in serene Penang comfort, occasionally training students as an akido master “teacher of teachers.” A visit from Michiko Murakami send... Read More »

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Feb 06, 2015
  • Fairmary rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this book; Tan's writing is beautiful and so evocative in his descriptions of Penang before and during WWII and during the Japanese Occupation. I found myself seeking out additional information to learn more about this time and the impact on the Chinese and British communities in Penang. Also learned a bit about Japanese martial arts. The heard of the story is the complex relationship between the young man, Phillip, and his Japanese mentor. I found myself thinking about (and puzzled by) the relationship long after I finished the book.

Jan 09, 2014

This book is worth reading if only for the beauty of it. And the story is captivating as well. The descriptive phrases put you in tropical Penang, in the midst of WWII. It is a fascinating story that begs the question of how much 'cooperation' and 'compromise' is too much? Does the end justify the means? This book will keep you thinking about these and other dilemmas, long after you finish it.

Dec 03, 2013
  • pokano rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

One of the better books I've ever read. Tan Twan Eng makes Penang come alive in this tale of a half-Chinese, half-English young man who, after coming under the influence of a Japanese aikido master, decides to work for the Japanese during their occupation of Malaya, much to the horror of his family and friends. A story about family, race, friendship, and war.

Aug 21, 2012
  • DanglingConversations rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is an interesting view of what "Empire" was up to in the Orient before politics became global after world wars made us more aware of our common humanity. A bit slow reading for the first few chapters and it is initially unclear that the protagonist is Philip,a late middle aged male... until he tells us his name I thought I was reading a dialogue between two women. Although it would not normally be of interest to me, I actually enjoyed learning about martial arts and the role of the sensei. It is a beautiful story, well written and faithful to the attitudes and mores of the epoch.

Jun 27, 2011

A beautiful story about Malaya's history. It shows the relativity of good or bad in time of war from the perspective of an young man.
Lovely reading journey, a hard to put apart book. Recommended for the people who loves history and Far East stories.


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