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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp…

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (edition 2012)

by Jan-Philipp Sendker

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6175415,790 (4.03)58
Title:The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
Authors:Jan-Philipp Sendker
Info:Other Press (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages

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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker



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English (50)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
A sweet, gentle story but told in a vague, wandering style of writing. ( )
  bookappeal | Aug 31, 2014 |
This books is just absolutely beautiful. Tin Win and Mi Mis's story is tragic, wonderful, unexpected and just pure love in my opinion. This book makes me wonder if what i feel is really love after all. The end is a little unexpected but i just have to say. WONDERFUL. ( )
  angie.arciba | Aug 9, 2014 |
Julie Win's Burmese father disappears the day after her graduations from law school. When her mother finds a love letter to a Burmese woman named MiMi, Julie decides to go in search of her father and MiMi. She learns that MiMi is crippled, but that she has acted as the eyes for Tin Win, Julie's father. Tin Win can read people, property and animals by sound, including heartbeats. The love MiMi and Tin Win share is very special. Tin Win regains his sight when he is sent to Rangoon to live with his uncle--it was cateracts and once removed all is well. Then the uncle sends Tin Win to America where he marries and raises Julie and her brother. He writes MiMi until he marries and she writes him. The uncle in Rangoon never forwards the letters either way but he saves them--the letter Julie's mother finds.

Fifty years later Tin Win returns to Burma and to MiMi's home. Here he and MiMi lie together and die. They were both cremated together.

The story is a beautiful love story--very touching. ( )
  MarkMeg | Jul 26, 2014 |
A love story: the likes of which make the blind see and the lame walk -- read this book and you'll see how almost literal this is. Set in Burma, the plot is complicated but at the same time, simple. Complicated because human relationships often are, but simple because that's what love, unsullied by ego, is. If I were to accord a musical tempo to this tale, it would be 'moderato', tempered by crescendos of emotions, brilliantly crafted to take the reader to ever higher levels of heart-swell. Perhaps it drew me in so completely, perhaps I was so involved that I didn't 'see it (the ending) coming', that I was caught off-guard by the the 'revelation' which left me breathless and teary-eyed. A highly-recommended 5-star read from me. ( )
  MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
The concept of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is fascinating. In this novel a successful American woman drops everything and heads to Burma to discover what happened to her father, who had disappeared years earlier when she was a young girl. This plot provides a chance for the author to make a comparison between a culture based on acquiring material goods and one based more on looking within oneself. Jan-Philipp Sendker does this well, although there are times he slips into cliches and, worse yet, into statements of moral fact that don't stand up to scrutiny. I didn't like the way Julia was told that she shouldn't doubt her father's love, since he was her father. Perhaps fathers loving their daughters is the natural state of things, but it is by no means universal. I also didn't like Sendker's one dimensional portrayal of Tin Win's uncle. But the part that disappointed me the most has to do with two separations. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is a story within a story and each plot has a separation at its core. Julia's reaction to the similarity of these events didn't make any sense at all.

What I liked the most about this novel was the picture of love found through two people depending on each other or, perhaps more accurately, each person compensating for the abilities lacking in the other. There can be no single definition of love, but this is certainly an interesting one. This is also one of the most quotable books I've ever read. Perhaps this is because Sendker's purpose seems to be to teach rather than simply to tell a story. Here are a couple of examples:

We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes as uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize.

The true essence of things is invisible to the eyes...Our sensory organs love to lead us astray, and eyes are the most deceptive of all. We rely too heavily on them. We believe that we see the world around us, and yet it is only the surface that we perceive. We must learn to divine the true nature of things, their substance, and the eyes are rather a hindrance than a help in that regard. They distract us. We love to be dazzled. A person who relies too heavily on his eyes neglects his other senses--and I mean more than his hearing or sense of smell. I'm talking about the organ within us for which we have no name. Let us call it the compass of the heart.

Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions ( )
  SteveLindahl | May 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
"The heart of this sentimental novel is the romance between the teenagers Tin Win and Mi Mi in pre-World War II Burma. Recommended for readers who enjoy sweetly tragic romances."
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Pamela Mann (Nov 1, 2011)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jan-Philipp Sendkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiliarty, KevinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be--until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener's belief in the power of love to move mountains.… (more)

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