The Art of Hearing Heartbeats [Book Review]

Title: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
Author: Jan-Philipp Sendker
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 9781590514634
Pages: 336
Year: 2012 (originally published in Germany in 2002)
Publisher: Other Press
Source: Review Copy from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 4.5/5


Julia’s father, a successful attorney, disappeared four years ago. His path can be tracked from New York City to Asia and then it grows cold. When Julia finds a letter he wrote to a girl named Mi Mi in his hometown in Burma, Julia jumps on a plane to investigate. There she meets U Ba, who tells her the love story of Tin Win and Mi Mi.

Neither Tin Win nor Mi Mi is a complete person to the outside world. Tin Win cannot see and Mi Mi cannot walk. But together they can do anything.

My Thoughts:

I was drawn in immediately. When U Ba calls out to Julia, he grabbed my attention as well. I had to know the rest of the story.

The translation is lovely. I actually had to double-check that it was not originally written in English because the language is just beautiful. But this book isn’t just beautiful words. The love story at its center and the tangential stories within are equally stunning. There are elements that are almost fairytale-like and it is easy to get lost in Tin Win and Mi Mi’s world.

I am keeping my thoughts rather short and annoyingly vague today because I really think you need to experience this book for yourself. I hope a few of you manage not to let this one slip by.

Buy It Now: IndieBound

11 thoughts on “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats [Book Review]

  1. zibilee January 26, 2012 / 2:36 pm

    Oh wow, this one does sound good, and your fear of dishing out spoilers makes me even more curious to try it for myself. I love books that are full of lush language, and can get totally lost in them. So glad that you loved this one, and adding it to my list right now. As a matter of fact, I may hop on over to the library website and see if they have it! Great review today!


  2. Sharyla January 26, 2012 / 6:01 pm

    This sounds awesome. Adding it to the wish list now! Great review (and I love being vague in my reviews when I know the reader will get more from the book when I am, I love that you did it here too!)


  3. Iris January 26, 2012 / 6:03 pm

    This sounds good. I actually checked Netgalley right away to see if I might still have a chance of reading it that way.


  4. Jen - Devourerofbooks January 26, 2012 / 6:04 pm

    I have this one but was unsure about it. Guess I need to read it after all. Evidently it is a book club sensation in Germany.


  5. Melanie January 26, 2012 / 6:15 pm

    I love that title. It’s rare that I read books that have been translated. It sounds amazing!


  6. Michelle January 28, 2012 / 4:43 pm

    Ordered/Rented it from the Library. 🙂


  7. Michelle January 28, 2012 / 4:45 pm

    Well, technically, I’ll get it when it comes out 🙂


  8. Alita January 31, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    This sounds amazing. I’ve added it to my wish list… hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon!


  9. sharon February 6, 2012 / 4:27 pm

    I just finished this book and LOVED every minute of it…I just couldn’t figure out the ending…would love your thoughts on it…who was he?


    • Hannah May 27, 2012 / 12:51 am

      U Ba was Mi Mi and Tin Win’s son making him Julia’s half brother.


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