❰Read❯ ➲ Rainbirds Author Clarissa Goenawan – E17streets4all.co.uk Clarissa Goenawan’s dark spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small town Japan Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he rec Clarissa Goenawan’s dark spellbinding literary debut opens with a murder and shines a spotlight onto life in fictional small town Japan Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister Keiko's sudden death She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home and there are no leads Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister's affairs still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s catatonic wife As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious alluring student named Rio Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed trying to piece together what happened the night of her death Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind.Rainbirds

Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian born Singaporean writer Her award winning short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Singapore Australia the UK and the US Rainbirds is her first novel.

Hardcover  · Rainbirds Epub ò
  • Hardcover
  • 323 pages
  • Rainbirds
  • Clarissa Goenawan
  • English
  • 13 January 2016
  • 9781616958558

10 thoughts on “Rainbirds

  1. says:

    A whodunit based in JapanA character study with a Japanese flair There is a mystery but this one is really a literary fiction with some moments of suspense and plenty of secrets to unravel I was ever so curious while reading and wanted to know why someone would murder Ren’s sister Keiko in such a violent way Ren is a graduate student and gives up his studies to move to his sister’s small town in Japan Akakawa He starts to piece together some clues that he hopes will give him some answersI just adored the Japanese names the food the culture and learning the backstory of Ren and his sister There is a touch of beautiful magical realism through some dreams which adds another layer of intrigueThe pace is slow but captivating with moments of humor candor and whimsy I really liked getting to know Ren his flaws and his intense love for his sisterIf you don’t mind a slow reveal this one has some interesting characters and was a breath of fresh air for me

  2. says:

    The opposite of action packed but not necessarily boring It’s a bit like watching gold fish Nothing exciting happens but you still can’t turn away The first few pages introduce the premise a guy’s sister has been murdered and he learns a lot about himself and her as he picks up clues slowly revealing whodunnit Or so we thinkDon’t get excited though This isn’t your typical mystery novel It’s slow and meditative throughout Not for someone who freuently says “when is something going to happen?”As someone not familiar with Japanese art and literature I enjoyed the uniue change of pace There’s a lot of Japanese culture in this book and it’s interesting to see that juxtaposed with what could be a western murder mysteryAll in all though I have to say that with so many books and so little time you’ll probably regret getting involved with this one Feel free to skip

  3. says:

    35 There is something so distinctive about Japanese novels The spare writing for one not that there are no descriptions but only as much as the reader needs to know for the story no words wasted The unemotional tone to the writing for another yet one can feel the emotions brimming under a veneer of formal manners and respectability Ren is a young man who is basically following in his elder sisters footsteps almost done with his degree when his sister is murdered Putting everything else on hold he travels to the town where she had been living where he finds once again he is following his sisters footsteps Living in the same place taking a temporary job teaching at the school she taught This is a very tightly controlled story but not one without some ominious and surprising happenings As he tries to put everything together it will lead back to revelations in his own familyRen himself will find himself sorely tested when one of his students tries to take her crush on him too farI enjoyed this although I like many different kinds of writing it is nice to read something a little different Learning something too about the differences in cultures and s Thought this was uite well done and the cover is gorgeous as wellARC from Edelweiss

  4. says:

    This was an engaging debut novel The writing is minimalist and may not be for everyone However the thoughtful reflections on love loss and regret than make up for this spare type of writing which I found uite compelling There is a mystery in that Ren Ichida seeks to find out who murdered his sister Keiko in the small remote town of Akakawa Japan As he seeks answers he finds himself drawn into her former life and actually teaching at the school she had taught at prior to her murder There were many layers to this narrative which was told with a subtle and lyrical uality that compels you to read this as uickly as possible I look forward to books from this author

  5. says:

    I was fortunate enough to receive an Advance Review Copy of this novel which comes out next yearFans of Murakami will not be disappointed by this lyrical spell binding evocation of a narrator who finds himself alone and grieving in a sleepy Japanese townI lost myself in Goenawan’s prose in the effortless detail of everyday life and in the brooding mood that hung over every action

  6. says:

    Written in a spare minimalist style with hints of magical realism that feels very Japanese Rainbirds tells the story of a man in his 20s whose older sister is murdered He leaves Tokyo for the small town where she had been living in an effort to understand the sister he realizes he didn't know as well as he thought he did or should have Haunted by regrets and curiosity he finds himself stepping into her shoes in certain ways taking over the job she had teaching English at a cram school renting the same room in a house she did At points it seems like a whodunit at others like a ghost story but ultimately resists both these genre classifications Rainbirds is set in the early 1990s before cellphones and the internet changed everyone's lives forever and it's odd how that gives it the flavor of a remote past and a mysterious brooding atmosphere

  7. says:

    RAINBIRDS is a compelling and thoughtful story set in Japan in 1994 It's the story of Ren Ishida whose sister Keiko has just been murdered in her prime Ren moves to the small town where Keiko lived and worked and takes a job at the school where Keiko taught There he meets a beautiful but troubled student called Rio and discovers painful secrets about the past The prose is clean and evocative with a light magic realism touch and hits the sweet spot between beautiful and couldn't put it down

  8. says:

    Why I Love Itby BOTM Editorial Director Siobhan JonesPart of being on the editorial team here at BOTM means that I read the opening chapters of literally dozens of books each month When I come across a story that makes me slow down and not look up until I’ve read from cover to cover I know I’ve found something specialThis happened to me with Rainbirds The writing grabbed me immediately—it’s whispery and elegant Even the chapter titles are evocative like snatches of barely remembered dreams or vivid memories from the narrator’s life On page one we learn that Ren’s sister a polite cram school teacher named Keiko has recently died There’s a police investigation of course but almost immediately the story veers off the “whodunit” track Seeking answers Ren takes over Keiko’s job moves into her former residence and finds himself pulled down a path of self discovery He forges an unlikely friendship with an old mysteriously silent woman He explores newfound intimacies and reconsiders old girlfriends Yes he’s searching for Keiko But he’s also searching for himselfReading this book is like flipping through a stranger’s polaroids pictures—it contains snapshots of a life lived simply as well as unanswered uestions lurking just out of reach This is not a page turner in the traditional sense but rather a moving depiction of grief and regret A book to read deeply and not necessarily uickly I hope you enjoy it as much as I didRead at

  9. says:

    Rainbirds by Haruki Murakami sorry Clarissa Goenawan is about a man who attempts to investigate the murder of his sister by traveling to her home in Akakawa It's also the most derivative book I've ever readLook I don't usually mind when the influence of another author is clearly present in a novel Writers are influenced by other writers this is how art has always been created If We Were Villains is like The Secret History; The Book Collector is like Rebecca It happens But where the novels I just cited each have their own voice their own distinctive characters their own intriguing stories to tell Rainbirds just doesn't My main problem with this book is that I've read it before but it was called The Wind Up Bird Chronicle thenI do like Murakami but I have to admit there's a certain formula to his novels Clarissa Goenawan follows that formula to a T There's the apathetic attractive yet disinterested protagonist Ren Toru Okada Toru Watanabe the fiesty young loner girl who captures his interest Seven Stars May Kasahara Midori and several alluring women who wallpaper the background of the novel all of whom confide inexplicably in the protagonist and share their life stories with him The Apathetic Everyman protagonist is searching for something but he isn't uite sure what and he needs to be drawn into the lives of these random strangers in order to achieve clarity in some roundabout way And there's also a sort of magical realism influence where the atmosphere is just a bit odd and we have to listen to characters relay their dreams in exhausting detailI mean even the chapter headings are like this The BubblegumWorld and theWoman with a Moleon the Back ofHer Neck This isn't a 'fans of Murakami will love this novel' situation it's just why don't you just read Murakami instead?Anyway even the tone of the novel is trying very hard for the elegant simplicity that Jay Rubin achieves in his English language translations of Murakami but here it comes off as sophomoric rather than intentionally artful Sentences like The day my sister died a part of me died too and I was shocked to find her in my class Was it fate? and As I was flipping through one of the books a piece of paper fell out Something told me it might be important caused than a few eye rollsAs for the story itself there is nothing original or noteworthy here It's not really a mystery or a thriller or an introspective character study that would be a stretch since Ren has literally no personality or the exploration of small town Japanese culture that it claims to be It's just a collection of uirky characters telling Ren their stories while he sleeps with a bunch of different women even though he has a girlfriend the entire time who are inexplicably drawn to him even though he has all the charisma of soggy cardboard Here's where Murakami's influence really began to annoy me I feel like there's an undeniably masculine thread to all of his novels that Clarissa Goenawan was in a perfect position to subvert as a female writer but instead she gives us a thoroughly uninteresting male protagonist and tells us to root for him without giving us much reason toThe atmosphere was nice and it held my attention the entire time and I certainly didn't hate this passionately enough to warrant a 1 star rating but I'm just not sure what I was supposed to take away from this book aside from the knowledge that Clarissa Goenawan is a massive Murakami fan

  10. says:

    This book was a pleasant surprise spare and lyrical prose in what seemed part Japanese novel part mystery part poetry While the plot didn't always go in the direction I imagined it would and a few scenes seemed inauthentic to the overall story there were unforgettable details in the tale of Ren Ishida and his visit to the town where his sister was murdered Goenawan's imagery was particularly evocative when she wrote about her main character's dreams A powerful read and one that was hard to put down

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