Excerpt from Hard Rain by Barry Eisler, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hard Rain

By Barry Eisler

Hard Rain
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Jul 2003,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Jul 2004,
    384 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


When he was through, I asked, "Already done benching?"

"Aa." Yeah.

"How much you put up tonight?"

He shrugged, but I detected a slight puffing of his chest that told me his vanity had been kindled.

"Not so much. Hundred and forty kilos. Could have done more, but with that much weight, it's better to have someone spot you."

Perfect. "Hey, I'll spot you."

"Nah, I'm already done."

"C'mon, do another set. It inspires me. What are you putting up, twice your body weight?" My underestimate was deliberate.

"More."

"Shit, more than twice your body weight? That's what I'm talking about, I'm not even close to that. Do me a favor, do one more set, it'll motivate me. I'll spot you, fair enough?"

He hesitated, then shrugged and started walking over to the bench-press station.

The bar was already set up with the hundred and forty kilos he'd been using earlier. "Think you can handle a hundred and sixty?" I asked, my tone doubtful.

He looked at me, and I could tell from his eyes that his ego had engaged. "I can handle it."

"Okay, this I've got to see," I said, pulling two ten-kilo plates off the weight tree and sliding them onto the ends of the bar. I stood behind the bench and gripped the bar about shoulder-width with both hands. "Let me know when you're ready."

He sat at the foot of the bench, his shoulders hunched forward, and rotated his neck from side to side. He swung his arms back and forth and I heard a series of short, forceful exhalations. Then he lay back and took hold of the bar.

"Give me a lift on three," he said.

I nodded.

There were several additional sharp exhalations. Then: "One . . . two . . . three!"

I helped him get the bar into the air and steady it over his chest. He was staring at the bar as though enraged by it, his chin sunk into his neck in preparation for the effort.

Then he let it drop, controlling its descent but allowing enough momentum to ensure a good bounce off his massive chest. Two thirds of the way up, the bar almost stopped, suspended between the drag of gravity and the power of his steroid-fueled muscles, but it continued its shaky ascent until his elbows were straightened. His arms were trembling from the effort. There was no way he had another one in him.

"One more, one more," I urged. "C'mon, you can do it."

There was a pause, and I prepared to try some fresh exhortations. But he was only mentally preparing for the effort. He took three quick breaths, then dropped the bar to his chest. It rose a few centimeters from the impact, then a few more from the northward shove that followed, but a second later it stopped and began to move inexorably downward.

"Tetsudatte kure," he grunted. Help. But calmly, expecting my immediate assistance.

The bar continued downward and settled against his chest. "Oi, tanomu," he said again, more sharply this time.

I pushed downward instead.

His eyes popped open, searching for mine.

Between the weight of the bar and plates and the pressure I was delivering, he was now struggling with almost two hundred kilos.

I focused on the bar and his torso, but in my peripheral vision I saw his eyes bulging in confusion, then fear. He made no sound. I continued to concentrate on the clinical downward pressure.

With his teeth clenched shut, his chin almost buried in his neck, he threw everything he had into moving the bar. In extremis he was actually able to get the weight off his chest. I hooked a foot under the horizontal supports at the bottom of the bench and used the leverage to add additional pressure to the bar, and again it settled against his chest.

I felt a tremor in the weights as his arms began to shake with exertion. Again the bar moved slightly north.

From Hard Rain: A John Rain Novel by Barry Eisler, copyright © 2003 Barry Eisler, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.