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The Man Who Rained

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  718 ratings  ·  112 reviews
From the author of the stunning debut novel The Girl with Glass Feet comes another magical story of love, discovery, and nature

When Elsa's father is killed in a tornado, all she wants is to escape—from New York, her job, her boyfriend—to somewhere new, anonymous, set apart. For some years she has been haunted by a sight once seen from an airplane: a tiny, isolated settleme
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 2012 by Atlantic Books (first published January 4th 2011)
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Valentia D'Ambroise the prose are decent, sometimes a bit too purple, but there are not to many similes and the language flows nice.

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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  718 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Asghar Abbas
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I think it's safe to say that my ratings for this book is three and a half stars.

Elsa and the thunder. Elsas and..... the weather? Cold never bothered them anyways?

There are books that reminds you why you loved reading in the first place, the pure magic of them. They rekindle something in you like estranged lovers reconciling, that rewarding feeling of getting back the one that got away. I really really wanted to say that about this book, but as in whole something was clearly lacking. Although i
Jan 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Elsa is kind of lost after her father – a storm chaser- is killed in a tornado. When her boyfriend Peter springs a marriage proposal at her, she decides to break things off, leave everything behind in order to start anew and find out what she really wants in life and so, she makes her way to a little town that has haunted her for years after seeing it from an airplane. Thunderstown is an isolated place, a weather-ravaged backwater, filled with superstitious inhabitants who believe that the weath ...more
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2012
Having read and loved The Girl With Glass Feet last year I was excited to find a new release by Ali Shaw to start off 2012. I loved this book. It was very much in the same vein as The Girl With Glass Feet - heavy on magic realism, romantic and fairytale-eqsue.

The only slight critique I could make would be that there dialogue felt slightly clunky in places but certainly not to any kind of degree that it hindered my reading experience at all.

Ali Shaw has easily rocketed in to my all time top five
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
This could have been so good. Very, very dissapointed.

Elsa is a really boring character without any depth. Yes, she gets plently of memories, but they aren't relevant. It doesn't add anything to her charcater. She also doens't grow in this book, which I think could have been done easily. Would have made the book a whole lot more interesting.

I did like Finn, he was so cute and adorable! He did grow a lot in this book, which made me fall in love with him even more! And duh, he is a thunderstorm,
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
After reading The Girl with the Glass Feet I couldn't wait for another of Ali Shaw's beautiful tales.

The story is again unique and bizarre. The writing falls short from being poetry, that's how beautiful it is.
A girl falls in love with a boy made of rain, thunder and storm. My problem: I didn't like this strange boy. I kind of rooted for Daniel, whom I imagined as some more grumpy version of Gilmore Girls' Luke Danes. So when it turned out that Finn was the one Elsa was going to end up with, i
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I added this to my 'want to read' shelf after finishing The Girl with Glass Feet. Had I read this one first, I don't think I would have added any further novels by this author.

This was not as deep or as poignant as Glass Feet. I didn't engage with any of the characters (I positively disliked Elsa and the goat trapping man), it didn't move me and all in all, I found it rather silly. I would have liked the option of 2.5 stars but rounded it up to 3 for the nice writing style.
Nadine Larter
What a magical story!! Ali Shaw has stolen my heart for the second time with this latest novel of his. There is something so poetically whimsical about his writing. There isn't much else to say... Just read the book and smile :)
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Ali Shaw's first novel, The Girl with Glass Feet, mixed magical, fairy-tale-esque materials with a surreal island and a story about melancholy, obsession, love, emotionally stunted men...

All in all, I enjoyed it, but started noticing that it was a very, very emo read.

The Man Who Rained amps up the emo sensibilities to 11, squeezes in even more magic, moping, wallowing and melancholy, and, somehow, falls completely flat (for me). In fact, it was so disappointing, I started to wonder whether I mig
Mari Jaye
The Man Who Rained is a modern novel with a fairy-tale twist. A tale about love, inner battles, self acceptance, the celebration of weather, and over-coming fear.

All the main characters are experiencing inner battles and fighting their own personal demons. Elsa is broken after losing her storm-chasing father, is struggling to connect with her nearest and dearest, and longs to escape: to a place named Thunderstown. There she meets Daniel Fossiter, the local culler, who is battling the two opposi
"The Man Who Rained" has been on my wishlist since I've finished The Girl With Glass Feet one and a half years ago. Since then I've reread Ali Smith's first book once, and thought about it countless times. I love mystical settings, and I can't begin to tell you how often I was tempted to dry to draw the images that popped up in my head. (Or to go out and take a photograph or two.)

"The Man Who Rained" worked even better for me, and I don't know whether this is because the author's writing got bet
Blodeuedd Finland
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, magicrealism
I read this first book, The Girl with glass feet and was smitten. He made me believe it all could be real. That in some parts of the world there was still magic that was not truly magic, it was just life. It's not like paranormal books where you just read it but do not believe. Here, here it is different. Perhaps men can rain, and perhaps rain can come to life.

His prose is lyrical and it sucks you in, it holds on to you and it also made me feel scared. This is a town filled with superstitious pe
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I was really excited to read The Man Who Rained after thoroughly enjoying The Girl With Glass Feet. It was such a beautiful and unusual read. I was blown away by the writing and the imagination of the author. I didn’t love The Man Who Rained as much, but it was still an incredibly creative and descriptive read. I like a bit of a magical element in a book, I often find myself glued to the pages to find out what’ll happen next.

What stands out in Ali Shaw’s books are the descriptions. They’re so we
Mar 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 50-in-2015
It's written by Ali Shaw, so of course it's full of beautiful imagery and lyrical prose. It has the magical atmosphere of his first book, but here it felt like the magic was less subtle and more just an accepted part of the world. That's not meant as criticism, more an observation that it's just a different way of telling a story.

Despite the beauty of the world-building, the characters and the little bits of magic throughout, I found the love story aspect very forced and it took me out of the s
Tracey S
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Elsa once saw from an aeroplane a town set out like a spiral, and when life circumstances mean she wants to escape her New York life and start afresh, where else would she go but Thunderstown?
There she finds a town where weather magic is alive and well, even taking the form of Finn Munro - the man who rained.

I enjoyed reading this book - the story is sweet if a little rushed (I can just about forgive instalove in YA but Elsa is old enough to know better!), and the writing is very...pret
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
A beautiful book with all the strengths and flaws of The Girl with Glass Feet. Ali Shaw is very good at creating worlds, or rather microcosms, with charming flora and fauna; I wish his pencil drawings of the fantastic creatures were included in the books. But he is not that good at building characters, who can be described as two-dimensional at best, and his dialogues tend to be awkward and about as memorable as chat in a supermarket queue. A lovely novel that could, and should, have been better ...more
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The characters naivete and joy is delightful and at the same time made me worry for them. It was very much like a fairy tale as another reviewer wrote.
I love the constant presence of water and sun and the playful,visual characterizations of weather; some of them I will see from now on.
I want to visit.
Jill Furedy
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I had this book on my to-read list for a long time after reading Shaw's first book. So long I've forgotten much about the first book. These are stand alone books so that didn't matter. But I went back and was surprised to see I had only given the first book 3 stars as well. I think I put the second book on my to read list because the first one had so much potential but I didn't love it as much as I wanted to. Same thing with this one. I didn't connect to the characters, I didn't understand the m ...more
Lauren Tupper
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: overdrive
This was a solid novel. I really wanted to give it four stars but as I progressed through the pages, I found that something in it was lacking. Our main character Elsa, after suffering a personal tragedy, runs away to Thunderstown where she encounters a mysterious man called Finn. Finn lives in exile on the mountainside and claims that he has a storm inside of him. Storms can’t be people…. can they?

I'm not a huge fan of 'instant true love' and I don’t think this novel developed the relationship
Mar 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Intriguing, imaginative, topic spoilt by too many adjectives and too little character development. I'd heard much about Girl with the glass feet, but when given the chance to read this, the author's second novel, my optimism was replaced with disappointment. The writer's style suggested he had recently attended a creative writing workshop, with excessive adjectives and the dreaded use of "like a...". Dare I say, it seemed amateurish. So it lost flow, and the emphasis on describing everything lef ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the book, I think it was a lot better than the first one by this author, mainly because there weren't that many descriptions of nature and buildings etc. that would just drag. The writing style was good, and the chemistry between the main characters was presented quite well, even though it felt a bit rushed. I found the ending strange, would have been nice to have a little more detail of how everything played out, but all in all I think it was a pretty good story.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, books-i-own
Basically a romance with a few surrealist/fantasy elements thrown in, for basically no reason except as a full-blown metaphor/personification for the town's problems. That underpinning psychology of the town was basically the only interesting part of the book. Overall it was a bit meh, with a stock-standard romance, bland characters and too much purple prose (and I usually don't mind a bit of descriptive flair so that's saying something coming from me).
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
My thoughts on this book are pretty much in keeping with the majority of reviewers. Absolutely loved Girl with the glass feet but was a bit disappointed that this one didn't tick all the boxes in the same way. Still enjoyed the whole concept but the writing and editing was not up to scratch!
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this but not my favourite of author's.
A.F. Henley
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Completely different and magical romance that built nicely and finished perfectly.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spec-fic
(16) c2012. WTF - this made absolutely no sense to me at all. I knew it wasn't a plot that could end happily but, well, wtf! Unable to recommend to the normal crew.
Nicola M Landy
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very strange book. One to read with an open mind.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review was written for The Review Diaries:

I read Ali Shaw’s début novel ‘The Girl with Glass Feet’ when it first hit the shelves a couple of years ago, and it broke my heart. So when I discovered the other day that he had a new book out, I had to have it.
Shaw has a trademark lyrical beauty in his work. He blends seamlessly the real and the magical until the magical seems so normal, so natural in amongst the mundanities of the every day world.

In ‘Glass Feet
Ian Young
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Man Who Rained is a second novel by Ali Shaw, who previously had considerable success with The Girl with Glass Feet. Both novels are modern fables, telling a magical story with the aim of imparting some moral message about life. The Man Who Rained is, as its title suggests, about a man (Finn) who is weather personified. It works as a romantic fairy tale, but like many fairy tales has more serious intent. The central image of this book is lightening – in more than one place Shaw tells us tha ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read Ali Shaw's first novel, The Girl with Glass Feet, when I was fifteen and was enamoured by the writing and the vivid images it conjured up, I was in awe at the fairy-talelike and poetic tone (I liked my prose purple). Even though that was seven years ago I've still thought of Ali Shaw as one of my favourite authors since, so I had fairly high expectations for this book.

I had a bad time reading this book. I had misgivings after two pages, and after the first chapter I wanted it to be over.
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Ali Shaw is the author of The Trees, The Man who Rained and The Girl with Glass Feet, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize for first novels. He grew up in Dorset and studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. He has worked as a bookseller and at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. He lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter.
“Sometimes someone else’s life can be the only thing that makes sense of your own.” 3 likes
“The winds shook off in unison and yipped beneath the gleaming stars.
She gave him her lips. They kissed.
And she was in love with the thunder.”
More quotes…