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The heat of the sun : a novel

by Rain, David (Geographer)

Format: Print Book 2012
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Pleasant Hills Public Library Adult Fiction Fic Rain
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Adult Fiction
Call Number  Fic Rain

An exuberant debut that sweeps across the twentieth century--beginning where one world-famous love story left off to introduce us to another

With Sophie Tucker belting from his hand-crank phonograph and a circle of boarding-school admirers laughing uproariously around him, Ben "Trouble" Pinkerton first appears to us through the amazed eyes of his Blaze Academy schoolmate, the crippled orphan Woodley Sharpless. Soon Woodley finds his life inextricably linked with this strange boy's. The son of Lieutenant Benjamin Pinkerton and the geisha Madame Butterfly, Trouble is raised in the United States by Pinkerton (now a Democrat senator) and his American wife, Kate. From early in life, Trouble finds himself at the center of some of the biggest events of the century--and though over time Woodley's and Trouble's paths diverge, their lives collide again to dramatic effect.

From Greenwich Village in the Roaring Twenties, to WPA labor during the Great Depression; from secret work at Los Alamos, New Mexico, to a revelation on a Nagasaki hillside by the sea--Woodley observes firsthand the highs and lows of the twentieth century and witnesses, too, the extraordinary destiny of the Pinkerton family.

David Rain's The Heat of the Sun is a high-wire act of sustained invention--as playful as it is ambitious, as moving as it is theatrical, and as historically resonant as it is evocative of the powerful bonds of friendship and of love.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "What happened to the characters in Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly after Cio-Cio-San's suicide? Australian author Rain imagines some answers in his first novel. For starters, Pinkerton is now a powerful U.S. senator. His wife, Kate, is an eminence grise, and his illegitimate son, Trouble, is now a student at a private school. There he is befriended by the novel's narrator, a boy named Woodley Sharpless, whose late father had been the U.S. consul in Nagasaki when Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-San were an item. Other characters from the opera make at least cameo appearances as well. There are two main themes to the ensuing story: one is the story of the lifelong, and occasionally troubled, friendship of Woodley and Trouble; the second is Japan during the 1930s and early '40s as seen through the eyes of the two friends. Though occasionally frustrating in the opaqueness of the many characters' relationships and of unresolved plot points, Rain's novel is dramatic, even operatic, and an engaging read, especially for opera buffs.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Spanning most of the 20th century, Australian author Rain continues the story begun in Madame Butterfly in his ambitious debut. U.S. naval officer Pinkerton becomes a powerful 20th-century political figure through his marriage to Kate, scion of an influential family who raises as her own her husband's illegitimate son, Ben, known as "Trouble." Telling his story and theirs is crippled orphan Woodley Sharpless, whose father was the American consul in the original opera. Woodley and Trouble meet at boarding school and their curious friendship survives decades and distances, Trouble's melodramatic struggles for identity, and his parents' fight for power and influence. Woodley's difficulties in determining his place in the world are less dramatic. Yet the budding poet moves through glittering circles courtesy of his aunt, a "real-life Auntie Mame," travels to Japan before WWII, and, thanks to the Pinkertons, finds himself witness to the Manhattan Project. These 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. Agent: Sara Menguc, U.K. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Male friendship -- Fiction.
Friendship -- Fiction.
Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
Love stories.
Historical fiction.
Publisher New York :Henry Holt and Co.,2012
Edition 1st ed.
Other Titles Madame Butterfly.
Contributors Long, John Luther, 1861-1927. Madame Butterfly.
Language English
Description 288 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780805096705 (hc.)
0805096701 (hc.)
Other Classic View