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Name: John Rain.

Vocation: Assassin.

Specialty: Natural Causes.

Base of operations: Tokyo.

Availability: Worldwide.

Half American, half Japanese, expert in both worlds but at home in neither, John Rain is the best killer money can buy. You tell him who. You tell him where. He doesn't care about why… Until he gets involved with Midori Kawamura, a beautiful jazz pianist—and the daughter of his latest kill.

©2002, 2013 Barry Eisler (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Ce que les critiques disent

"Eisler provides a cracklingly good yarn, well written, deftly plotted, and surprisingly appealing… Thomas Perry and Lawrence Block need not retire their hit men quite yet, but Eisler is clearly a challenger." ( Boston Globe)

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  • AudioAddict
  • 2016-04-01

A shark must keep swimming or it will die

STORY (suspense) - John Rain is half Japanese and half American. He was part of American special missions in Vietnam and experienced the atrocities of war. Now he finds himself having painful flashbacks and is unable to adapt to normal life. He sees himself as a shark who must keep swimming...a man who must keep killing. John makes his living as an assassin who specializes in making victims look like they died naturally, and he is sought by those who want to hire him and those who want to stop him. He is a likeable guy, and he has scruples. (Yeah, I know, an assassin with scruples?) You will like John and root for him.

This story is set in Tokyo. John kills a man and then later meets his lovely daughter, Midori, who is a jazz pianist. He learns she is in danger and tries to protect her. They have a romantic relationship, but it plays a very small part in the story. There is quite a bit of action and intrigue, and the story is fast-paced. John is expert at surveillance and pretty bad a$$ at martial arts, and his assassinations are creative. I enjoyed "visiting" the streets of Tokyo and hearing bits of Japanese culture and language. And I loved the ending.

PERFORMANCE - Barry Eisler, the author, performs his own work and does a great job. His Japanese sounded fluent, but I'm not one to judge. He had the perfect voice for John. Midori sounded a little masculine, but I was still glad that he gave her a distinctive voice.

OVERALL - There is quite a bit of violence and cussing and a teeny bit of non-explicit sex. This is the first book in a series and the story stands alone. I probably won't continue the series further because it's not my particular cup of tea, but all the books are very highly rated. Recommended for adult listeners, especially guys.

9 personnes sur 10 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • John Pierce
  • Ocala, FL, United States
  • 2014-03-16

Beautiful Flaws

The human mind is so complex, so vast, yet, so inherently primal. Barry Eisler captures this oxymoron in a very ingenious set of ways.

This is the first audiobook that I have listened to that was narrated by the author, so I was a little skeptical at first. Eisler does a good job, not a superb one, but he nailed the protagonist, so in my humble opinion, that's all that really matters.

The way the story is laid out takes you through the mind of an imaginary man that could be any one of us. Half american, half japanese, Eisler takes you through the struggles of being born of two cultures. Although the protagonist is mixed, his struggles are strikingly similar to any immigrant's story of living in two places, and having to adjust to both after living in one place for a while then returning to the land of their birth.

Tons of action in this story, and the storyline has lots of coincidences, that in the end turn out to be beautiful flaws of not just the main character, but mankind in general.

8 personnes sur 9 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Tony
  • Miami, Fl, United States
  • 2014-02-26

A love affair with Toyko and an assassin

I enjoyed this more than I expected . The backdrop of Tokyo provides a complex and interesting background for a good, if not unique, storyline. I found it a little difficult to keep up with all the Japanese phraseology and names at first but after awhile it sort of sinks in and becomes familiar . The author is the narrator and his voice is a little sleep inducing. However, I liked him well enough to download the second book in the series.

6 personnes sur 7 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 2016-10-18

Barry Eisler's first John Rain novel

Originally titled Rain Fall and later released as A Clean Kill in Tokyo with Barry Eisler narrating, this novel demonstrates the difference great narration makes. I rated Rain Fall 4 stars and A Clean kill in Tokyo 5 stars with the only difference being narration. I used one credit to purchase Rain Fall in 2012, while A Clean Kill in Tokyo cost $3.98 for both the Audible and Kindle versions combined.

7 personnes sur 9 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Pamela Dale Foster
  • Sykesville, MD
  • 2014-03-04

Plus A Lonely Resurrection

These two books are the start of a new John Rain series when he has grown older but not too much wiser.

John Rain learned to kill when he served in Vietnam. He was chosen to run recon operations and did them well. He found that after his first kill in Vietnam, although he didn't enjoy killing the man, he had no remorse. John did not have the nightmares and PTSD that can follow the men home from war. John never grew to love killing as a sport but as a profession, murder for hire fit him perfectly.

He had a Japanese father and an American mother. Until John's father's death he had lived in Japan. He was the kid bullied because of his mixed heritage. Upon moving to America soon after the death of his father, John once again became the odd kid out and the bullying started again.

John started becoming involved kin the martial arts at a young age and learned to defend himself. He was no longer the kid who could be used as a punching bag. He turned around and fought only when someone tried to fight him. The boys started to leave him alone because of the new skills he was learning.

John's mother died while he was in Vietnam and he went back to Tokyo instead of the states to live after serving his time.

The first two books are centered around murder for hire and his inability to having an extended relationship due to his job. There are ideas that run around in his brain once in awhile and John considers retiring. However, when the last job is finished there is always someone else who needs his services.

The stories are full of action and suspense. I don't think that there are good or bad guys. Maybe it's bad and badder guys. I've read the books in the original series and enjoyed all of them. I actually like John Rain and even feel bad for him at times. Although he does put himself in a jam in, A Clean Kill in Tokyo.

The books are an easy listen and go fast. The characters in this series have been well developed from the original series. There are always new characters are they are well developed. The book does bring a new listener up to date throughout the book about what took place in John's earlier life and beyond.

9 personnes sur 12 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Cholmondeley
  • Santa Barbara, CA United States
  • 2016-07-04

Intelligent, engaging, clever, and instructive

I listen to so many audiobooks (some good and many more that are not so good) that I’m rarely surprised to find a new author or a new series I like. One of Barry Eisler’s books was a “Daily Deal” some time ago, and I liked it so much that I’ve now listened to all of the novels available from Audible.

I don’t write many reviews but I feel an obligation to tell potential Eisler fans about his books.

First, there's frequent and graphic violence. There are occasional sex scenes, though I don't remember gratuitous instances of sexual violence. Nevertheless, the books are not for every one.

Next, look at the prices; they are well below market and when compared to similar books Eisler gives you a lot more bang for the buck, which may be a part of his interesting approach to publishing.

He is among those authors who have successfully used the internet to publish their own stuff; Eisler is among the very few who have had publishers and who have bought back the rights to their own books.

If there's an economy achieved by Eisler reading his own words, the buyer wins in two ways: a lower price and an excellent reader – good voice, good intonation, and good pronunciation of foreign words. (Okay, I don’t if his Japanese is good or terrible, but it sounds good to me.)

The central character is John Rain, the son of a Japanese father and an American mother; a lonely loner raised in both counties and a native speaker of both languages. He comes of age fighting in the jungles of Viet Nam as a special operator who does things that will haunt him forever. Haunted or not he leaves the Army and puts his skills as an accomplished and experienced marital artist to good use by making his living as a contract assassin.

He specializes in murdering people in a way that makes the death look natural. He doesn’t murder just anyone: no women, no children and “principals only.” Those with ties to the CIA can be a customer or a target.

He has a couple of love interests; the mother of his child usually wants nothing to do with him. The other is a Mossad agent whose specialty is the seduction of repulsive men who happen to be enemies of Israel. She and Rain meant for each other but her work comes first, even though her colleagues then to look down on her because of her particular specialty.

Rain, the character, is developed slowly, and you learn a little bit more about him – usually some aspect of his existential angst – in each book, which are all driven by well-designed, and fast moving plots.

Somewhat in the style I first encountered in the Michael Crichton books, Eisler infuses his stories with both interesting information and interesting inquiry. The information might come in the form of scenic descriptions as Rain moves from one place to another. This is particularly effective when Rain is in Japan and the description of a Japanese landscape is combined with asides about culture and language. These messages feel like skillful summaries written by someone who knows a lot about whatever the subject happens to be.

Eisler exploits (in a positive sense) the fact that the genre invites consideration of political and moral issues. The subject of torture is a good example. Eisler has his own opinion and it’s probably strongly held, but instead of simply putting it into the mouth of an attractive character, he employs the principles of debate and civic discourse by stating the strongest case for various perspectives before he rebuts them and makes the case for his own. As the series progresses the issues addressed get bigger and the characters express different political philosophies, which are explicit, thoughtful and coherent.

There are now eight John Rain books and two Ben Travin. The Travin books stand on their own and the stories merge. There’s probably an ideal order for listening, but I’m not sure what it is. Checkout Eisler’s website and his Wikipedia. He’s a smart and accomplished guy. I’m grateful that he has spent so much of his time and talent on an enterprise that for me is entertaining, amusing and instructive.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Lady S.
  • United States
  • 2016-04-22


This is my first Barry Eisler. I usually don't think that it's a good idea for the author to read his own book, but I was wrong. This was a wonderfully written and expertly read book. I feel I learned so much about the Japanese culture customs and beliefs that I almost want to visit. Almost. However, the ending upset me, I understand why but I was just hoping things would have turned out differently. It made me cry, can you believe that? I cried. Great book, you owe it to yourself to give it a listen.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Moxatope
  • 2015-05-13

A real sleep stealer.

Just one more chapter turns into another nights sleep ruined. Just what I needed, another author that I will have to read completely.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Bob in Tampa
  • Tampa, FL
  • 2015-01-27

A Clean Kill? Maybe Not.

What starts out to be a simple killing on John Raines part turns into an all out race to possess that which could bring down the Japanese government. Through a series of twists and turns Barry Eisler narrates his own story engulfing John Rain and a beautiful musician who helps him and several "players" who are after them both. How to stay alive when everybody wants you dead.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Richard
  • 2014-06-02

Shame on the publisher!!!

What disappointed you about A Clean Kill in Tokyo?

This is not a new book. All the books narrated by the Author have been published under a different title prior to this "New John Rain series". I already had the books in my library and thought I was downloading a new book...NOT NEW!

What was most disappointing about Barry Eisler’s story?

Previously published under a different title.

Would you be willing to try another one of Barry Eisler’s performances?

Not unless I could be assured it's a new book...not just a reprint under a different title

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Definitely disappointed. The publishers of these newly titled John Rain books have joined the ranks of Beau LaAmour and trying to sell old titles as new stories.

Any additional comments?

I strongly dislike being deceived by the presentation that I'm buying a new storyline simply by changing the title of a formerly published title.

16 personnes sur 25 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente