Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Season of the Rainbirds” as Want to Read:
Season of the Rainbirds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Season of the Rainbirds

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Set during a monsoon season in the 1980s in a small town in Pakistan, Season of the Rainbirds is centred on the mysterious reappearance of a sack of letters lost in a train crash nineteen years previously. Could the letters have any bearing on Judge Anwar’s murder? The letters and the judge’s death trigger a series of tragic events and as the murder investigation progresse ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 7th 2005 by Faber and Faber (first published January 1st 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Season of the Rainbirds, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Season of the Rainbirds

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 651)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
this is nadeem aslam's first novel and it doesn't have the linguistic dreaminess of his later ones. i enjoyed it but couldn't help a constant comparison with his other work. it's set in a small pakistani town at a time when all hell is breaking loose in the rest of the country. it touches on the changing nature of islam (or maybe the constant tension in islam between common sense and lovingness, and oppression) and on the dirty intrigues of local government. it touches on the delicate play betwe ...more
Wasio Abbasi
Season of the Rainbirds is Nadeem Aslam's first novel and he has thoroughly explored life of a small town of Pakistan. Set in Zia Ul Haq's era, around the time when the General's plane survived attack from Murtaza Bhutto's Al-Zulfiqar, the story focuses on the lives of few characters immediately after the death of a retired judge in town.
Maulana Hafeez is the tolerant cleric of the town, in stark contrast to the extremism Maulana Dawood. He is the problem solver and self-appointed modesty watchm
This was Nadeem Aslam's first novel, but I first discovered him when I read (and later ringed) his second novel - Maps for Lost Lovers - which I thought was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed this one too.

This beautifully written novel centres on the inhabitants of a small town and: the discovery of a sack of letters, missing for 19 years, the murder of Judge Anwar, and an affair between Muslim deputy Commissioner and a young christian woman. These different plot strands are subtely woven together,
Harsha Priolkar
Hmmm...apparently Maps for Lost Lovers from the same author was all the rage...but this his debut novel, while showing promise was a rather disjointed experience for me. The prose is eloquently descriptive as Aslam skilfully narrates the routine in a small village in Pakistan, but where I was disappointed was in what I perceived as a lack of depth in exploring the characters that peopled said village. So even as events proceeded to their rather obvious conclusions (perhaps obvious to me because ...more
Surprisingly, Maulvi's character in a book written in English by a Pakistani writer turns out to be grey than black, which is a normal practice among most of Pakistani writers who write in English for readers outside Pakistan. This book does points out to problems that have roots in religious fundamentalism like mistreatment of minorities, but it does not blame Maulvis (the easy scapegoat!).

Nadeem Aslam writing style is interestingly suitable for drama / movie writing. I think that this novel ca
Lorina Stephens
Season of the Rainbirds was Nadeem Aslam's debut novel, first published in 1993, and a dramatic, well-crafted novel it is, taking two literary awards, the Betty Trask and the Author's Club First Novel Award.

There is an understated control to Aslam's narrative, chronicling the murder of a corrupt Pakistani judge and the seemingly unrelated discovery of missing postal bags of letters from a train crash 19 years earlier.

Within this mystery are two men, one spiritual, one investigative, charged wi
Vivek Tejuja

It had been a while since I had read, “Season of the Rainbirds” by Nadeem Aslam and almost forgotten how much I loved it. I had just finished “The Blind Man’s Garden” and thought of going back to this one. To relive the reading experience and ironically enough I loved it more this time than I had the last time. Every writer’s first novel according to me gives the most insight to the kind of writer he or she will become and I believe in it to a very large extent. The first novel almost shapes the
Dee at EditorialEyes
3/5. For this and other book reviews, interviews, and more, visit EditorialEyes Book Blog.

A small village in 1980s Pakistan might seem to be a quiet setting, but much is going on beneath the surface in Nadeem Aslam’s Season of the Rainbirds, even before several major events rock the community. First, a well-known and corrupt judge is murdered, and then a sack of letters that went missing in a train crash nineteen years previously suddenly reappears. What is in the letters, and what buried sec
Anne Tucker
I found this book much more difficult than his other books that I love - especially the brilliant 'Wasted Vigil' that everyone should read! This was his first book i gather, so maybe he was getting into how he wanted to show Pakistan to Western readers. Some of the writing is especially lyrical (I read the introductory chapter to my ESOL learners, several of whom are from Pakistan, and they really enjoyed it) but i found I got very confused between all the characters and kept thinking a lot more ...more
Enjoyed reading it but to be honest I had higher expectations from this book. Aslam wrote it well but it kept comparing his writing with naps of lost lovers which was far more rich in context compared to seasons of the rainbird. Overall, still enjoyed reading it.
Natalia Saeed
Story of a small time - which I could picture perfectly in my mind but what frustrated me was that we never got a chance to read any of the 'missing letters'!! I liked the small town characters but excepted some sort of conclusion of the 'mess' towards the end.
I loved this book, and his other one set among Pakistani immigrants to the UK: Maps For Lost Lovers. Both books are character driven and the author is very good at characters, even his least sympathetic characters evoke a certain amount of sympathy once you understand them.
The plot of this, his first novel, is a little weak. It is sufficient to give a structure to contain the characters, but little more than that. His second is much more accomplished and I really wanted to know the story as well
Like all Nadeem Aslam books, it had a very lyrical quality. Descriptions of nature and inane things were beautiful. It is about Pak society where people are governed by religion and strictures. Yet rich and corrupt survive.
four stars especially for the beauty of the prose which is nadeem's outstanding quality in writing.
Well written but quite ambiguous. While I enjoy that sort of thing, some loose ends should have been tied.
Feb 04, 2015 Toqeer added it
i need full text book of this novel
Written in Aslam's signature poetic style, the story had me captivated. I wish the ending had had more of an impact on me, like 'Maps' and 'Wasted Vigil' did. But nevertheless, the story had me spellbound, as he usually does. Like with most of his novels, the rain, the water lizards, the letters, all these elements are like characters in the story, having a life of their own. That's the beauty of his writing! You can see every scene, see every bit, right before your eyes...
This is the first Nadeem Aslam I've read and though I loved the writing, I was simply confused by who was who, which made it a struggle to read. In the end, I stopped trying to work out who the characters were and just enjoyed the words.
This started out as a good book. The characters and story draw you in. However, there is no resolution to the plot lines which is extremely frustrating. I rarely don't recommend books but I wouldn't really recommend this one.
Not my favorite of his novels (his first), but still a fun read. Personally, I think that his writing matures significantly since this one. I would more recommend Maps for Lost Lovers or The Wasted Vigil.
I didnt expect this from Nadeem Aslam, as I really liked his work in the form his book " The wasted wigil". But this book really disappointed me, I dont know what the author was trying get at in this one...
I'll have to admit that the story is a tad abstract for me. But then, the gorgeous visuals created by Nadeem Aslam's words do leave a mark on my mind. More so, given that its his first novel!
The stars are only for the fine language, a forte of the writer. The story wasn't quite gripping.
Gnoe Graasland
"It was raining. Crickets sang. Darkness and silence pressed down on the huddled street; and for a brief confused moment Dr Sharif was unable to distinguish between the two." [p152]
Nov 13, 2008 Sara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
A very good read yet not as captivating as Maps for Lost Lovers from the same author. May have been due to high expectations but I would still recommend it :)
Nadeem Aslam is a Pakistani writer, my first by a writer from that country. It is a story of a small town in Pakistan in turbulent times ...
Nazia Ahmed
Novel about sack of letters lost in a train crash nineteen years previously has mysteriously reappeared... good book with a weak ending!!
The writing was very good but it was disappointing in that there were too many unfinished strands and unexplained aspects.
I loved the snapshots of people's lives and how little we were told about the characters, allowing them to emerge as themselves.
All I'm going to say about this book is I am pretty sure everything else I read in 2013 will be better than this!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Monkfish Moon
  • City of Sin and Splendour: Writings on Lahore
  • Waiting for the Monsoon
  • The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War
  • Saraswati Park
  • The Circle of Reason
  • In Custody
  • Lost Luggage: A Novel
  • The Hungry Ghosts
  • Invisible Lives
  • Salt and Saffron
  • Tamarind Woman
  • Song of the Cuckoo Bird
  • If You Are Afraid of Heights
  • A Golden Age
  • Map of the Invisible World
  • The Great & Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms: How One Man Scorched the Twentieth Century But Didn't Mean To
  • Nightrunners of Bengal (The Story-Tellers)
Aslam was born in Pakistan in 1966 and moved to Britain at age 14. His family left Pakistan to escape President Zia's regime.

His novel Maps for Lost Lovers, winner of the Kuriyama Prize, took him more than a decade to complete. Aslam has stated that the first chapter alone took five years to complete, and that the following story in the book took seven months to complete before rejecting it. At th
More about Nadeem Aslam...
Maps for Lost Lovers The Wasted Vigil The Blind Man's Garden The Exiles

Share This Book

“We walk past the house with the blue door. It has been made clear to us that we are to walk quietly by this house, never accept an invitation to step inside, never return the smile of the woman of the house, nor glance at the old man who sometimes looks out of the upstairs window; at our peril are we to be tempted by the flowers lying under the eaves, or by the figs that the storms shake loose. But our shadows dare each other. One of them is foolish enough to climb on to the doorstep but is pulled away just before it can reach the door bell.” 0 likes
More quotes…