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History of the Rain: A Novel by [Williams, Niall]
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History of the Rain: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 304 customer reviews

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Length: 369 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* From her boat-shaped bed in the attic room of her family’s County Clare thatched-roof home, invalid Ruth Swain tries to uncover the secret of her father’s tortured life. She is surrounded by the thousands of books he devoured, everything from Dostoyevsky to Dickens, García Marquez to Galsworthy. In the stories of others, Ruth hopes to find her own family’s story, which begins with her rigidly religious great-grandfather, who set in motion the Swain quest for impossibly high standards. The failure to meet them will resonate for generations, culminating in the struggles of her father, Virgil, a dreamer and fisherman, the Irish prerequisites for becoming a poet. His inspiration arrived the night Ruth and her twin brother, Aeney, were born; it died the day Aeney drowned. Now housebound with a mysterious ailment, Ruth wants to write her father’s story in a book of her own before she dies. You can smell the peat burning and feel the ever-present mist in acclaimed Irish novelist Williams’ (John, 2008) luscious paean to all who lose themselves in books. Williams captures the awe and all of Ireland—its myths and mysteries, miseries and magic—through the pitch-perfect voice of a saucily defiant young woman who has witnessed too much tragedy but who clings devotedly to those she’s lost. --Carol Haggas


This is an important new book and, without spoiling the riveting last chapter next Friday, the rewards increase tenfold the further into the story one gets Book at Bedtime, Radio Times A surge of language, beautiful and enchanting, a novel that weaves a love of literature into its own moving tale Guardian Extremely moving, poignantly capturing Ruth's doomed childhood relationship with her twin brother. By the final chapter I was weeping Sunday Times The Anne Enright award for the Irish novel most guaranteed to make you cry ... Niall Williams wins this year's award on the strength of his title alone ... Suffused with warmth and humour Independent on Sunday A rambling, soft-hearted Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humour and heartbreak from the author of Four Letters of Love Kirkus Williams' poetic prose meanders from page to page and becomes one with her voice in a poignant story about family, identity, love and loss, pain, faith and hope Monocle Extremely funny and clever, and packed with beautiful imagery. This is a brave and wildly imaginative novel, that certainly stands out in a genre of its own Western Mail A celebration of books, love and the healing power of the imagination Irish Independent Dazzling ... Paragraph after paragraph begs you to stop and reread it, to relish the lilt of it with your inner ear ... History of the Rain has the heft of a bigger book, that extra brainy oomph that flatters the juries of lit comps and nailed it a place on this year's Man Booker longlist. This is not boil-in-the-bag Irish stew, it is your rich, slow-simmered casserole of a novel, and Williams has the confidence to give his themes the time that they need to develop the full flavour ... It's satisfying entertainment for all The Times Pure eccentric entertainment ... The novel is suffused with this otherworldliness while being rooted in the everyday Guardian A beautiful poetic tale ... One to read slowly and savour Irish Independent Deeply allusive, infectiously hopeful ... Somewhere between bildungsroman, epic and family saga, History of the Rain is an unashamedly unfashionable, lyrical paean to the pleasure of reading and to serendipity ... A fresh and powerful reminder that: "We tell stories to heal the pain of living" **** Daily Telegraph Intelligent and caustic ... Williams' imagery glimmers through the veil of constant rain. A salmon fisherman's line "laying soft swished questions marks in the air" is an elegant motif and some observations about village life ring true ... Williams describes beautifully "the secret life inside" Independent History of the Rain is funny and painful and a linguistic delight. A multi-layered, mythological retelling of the making of a family and nation, all wrapped in the symbolism of the embattled salmon and the merciless, ever-driving rain Eimear McBride, TLS Williams's utterly glorious, funny, clever, literary tale ... somehow didn't make the leap from the Booker longlist to its shortlist. Inexplicably so, in the opinion of some, as rarely do novels come along that revel in language to the extent that this one does, and even more rarely do they combine that mastery with a deep humanity, too ... A lovely book, that deserves to be read and re-read ***** Independent

Product details

  • File Size: 1333 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 6, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J5ED8LA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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