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History of the Rain

Narrated by: Jennifer McGrath
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
3.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. That’s how it seems to me, being alive for a little while, the teller and the told. So says Ruthie Swain. The bedridden daughter of a dead poet, home from college after a collapse (Something Amiss, the doctors say), she is trying to find her father through stories - and through generations of family history in County Clare (the Swains have the written stories, from salmon-fishing journals to poems, and the maternal MacCarrolls have the oral) and through her own writing (with its Superabundance of Style). Ruthie turns also to the books her father left behind, his library transposed to her bedroom and stacked on the floor, which she pledges to work her way through while she’s still living. In her attic room, with the rain rushing down the windows, Ruthie writes Ireland, with its weather, its rivers, its lilts, and its lows. The stories she uncovers and recounts bring back to life multiple generations buried in this soil - and they might just bring her back into the world again, too.

©2014 Niall Williams (P)2014  W.F. Howes 

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  • Ian
  • 22-05-2015

Ruined by narration

I'm about half way through this beautifully written novel which is superbly crafted, poignant and loaded with vivid characters and memorable imagery. The writing makes the novel's Booker short listing entirely understandable. However it is unlikely I will reach the end of the book. I have persisted with the narration for as long as I think I'm able. Sadly the narrator seems to miss the tone of the writing by a thousand miles; presenting the listener with Jimmy Cricket and the land of the bogs and the little people. Wish I'd spent the money on the paper version though that presents it's own issues whilst driving the hour to work.

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  • Independent Woman
  • 01-07-2018

A true work of art

I have listened to this book so many times and each time I have a new u understanding about life and living its joys and it's tragedies. Beautifully written and exquisitely performed. Best Audible purchase I've ever made. I love the quotes which remind me of how why we read and treasure books. And the one elected chuckles.

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  • Amy
  • 19-07-2019

Glibb and trying too hard to be clever

Boredom abounds. I love another book by this author and found the language lyrical, so I anticipated relishing in hearing his rich language read by an Irish reader. Alas, the reader has the same affect in every sentence, a monotonous ironic cuteness as if she doesn’t believe the narrator’s emotions are sincere. She also pauses for 15 beats too long after each sentence. It was so annoying I had to play the audiobook on 1.5 speed so the pauses between sentences would be normal. I just can’t use more time trying to get interested in this story. It might be largely the reader’s fault, but when Williams jibes that around a deathbed angels are angles for a dyslexic I just can’t take anymore.