REVIEWS OF THE HEAT OF THE SUN
[The] characters and a sense of tragedy evoke American authors Fitzgerald and Styron, yet Rain’s outsider worldview enriches rather than dulls the narrative, particularly in sequences set in Pacific Rim Asia and others involving the Bomb. The author masterfully weaves Madame Butterfly through the 20th century, assuring that the connections never read as coincidences or plot devices. More
A remarkable debut that reinvents, elaborates and extends into the late 20th century the story Puccini made famous in Madama Butterfly. More
This absorbing novel, told in episodic set pieces, takes the reader through the war and beyond it. … [Rain’s] depiction of the US and Americans feels utterly authentic. His characters are memorable; even those with a walk-on part. … This book captures the gaiety and tumult of a troubled age. But it is ultimately a novel of friendship, of love, and of lives. More
The Book Bag
David Rain is far too young to be writing this exquisitely … Pinkerton is glamour encapsulated … The scope of the book is vast … from the early 1920s, through to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki … The whole is a story about the universal search for love and for self, set at a time when there was less freedom to do either of those things … There isn’t so much an echo of Scott Fitzgerald in these pages as a gentle background refrain that hauntingly lingers at the edges of every page. More
Writers have always used existing stories as the basis for new work and some novelists have looked to other media as inspiration for their fiction … While the novel traces the links and enmities between Japan and the United States through the first half of the twentieth century, Rain shows, in subtle and carefully colourful prose, how clinging to old stories of victimization cripples us and the only thing that lasts – or matters – is love. This is a skilful, imaginative, and often moving development of the Butterfly story. More
The Book Boy
This stunning debut, by Austrialian-born David Rain, takes the story of that famous Geisha girl and gives it an American twist … Rain’s writing is incredibly clever. His colourful prose transports you to roaring Manhattan, to Nagasaki, to Mexico. The dialogue between the two main characters is believable, honest, and told in such a way you think you’re watching one of those classic black and white films rather than reading a book … The men’s paths cross and diverge throughout one of the most tumultuous periods in 20th century history. It’s an honest tale of what it is like to lose touch with someone and then meet them again – how you are never the same person, and nor are they … I think David Rain’s star is only going to get brighter. More
The Library Journal
Rain’s Ben “Trouble” Pinkerton is a charismatic young man worshiped by his private-school classmates—especially narrator Woodley Sharpless, a crippled orphan—who eventually finds himself in the midst of world-defining events from the Roaring Twenties to the Great Depression to the bombing of Nagasaki. … genre-bending and an in-house favorite. More
[A] truly inventive tour de force … The final dénouement was a crescendo of great emotion, inevitable tragedy, pathos, and some degree of redemption. And is that not what great operatic drama is all about? BRAVO, David Rain! More
What happened to the characters in Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly after Cio-Cio-San’s suicide? Australian author Rain imagines some answers in . . . [a first novel that is] dramatic, even operatic, and an engaging read.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE HEAT OF THE SUN
Sue Gee, author of The Mysteries of Glass
The more I read The Heat of the Sun the more I loved and admired it: for its imaginative reach, its emotional power and the lit-up beauty and exactitude of its writing. I thought it breathtakingly good.
John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and The Commoner
David Rain’s striking debut novel manages the audacious feat of burying its soul of romantic tragedy inside a story of great theatrical invention and whimsy. The result is wholly original, and a lot of fun. Read it and the 20th Century may never look the same to you again.
Andrew Solomon, National Book Award winner and author of New York Times bestseller Noonday Demon
This fantastic story swirls around an irresistibly charismatic ‘bad boy’ whose odyssey of self-definition pulls the whole world in its wake. Like the historical epochs and episodes it weaves into a mesmerizing puzzle, The Heat of the Sun is by turns wildly colorful and strait-laced, witty and rueful, reserved and operatic. David Rain’s clever mixture of fact and famous fiction puts a new spin on the ‘butterfly effect.