Barry Eisler

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Barry Eisler
Barry Eisler, 2009.
Born 1963
Occupation Writer
Genre thriller

Barry Eisler (born 1964) is a best-selling American novelist. He is the author of two thriller series, the first featuring anti-hero John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American former soldier turned freelance assassin, and a second featuring black ops soldier Ben Treven. Eisler also writes about politics and language on his blog "Heart of the Matter", and at the blogs CHUD, Firedoglake, The Huffington Post,, The Smirking Chimp, and Truthout.


After graduating from Cornell Law School in 1989, Eisler joined the CIA, where he held a covert position with the Directorate of Operations.[1] He left the Agency in 1992 and thereafter worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way.[citation needed] He started writing full-time in 2002 when he sold the rights to his debut novel, Rain Fall, the first of his eight-book series featuring John Rain.

In April 2009, Sony Pictures Japan released a mostly Japanese language film version of Rain Fall starring Shiina Kippei as Rain and Gary Oldman as Rain's nemesis, CIA Station Chief William Holtzer.

Eisler made news in March 2011 when he walked away from a reported half million dollar advance from St. Martin's Press in order to go the self-publishing route pioneered by his colleague Joe Konrath and others.[2][3] He then took a six-figure deal to publish his latest John Rain novel (The Detachment) under Amazon's Thomas & Mercer mystery imprint.[4]

In August 2014, Slingshot Global Media announced the launch of a new TV series 'Rain' based on the book. Keanu Reeves will portray the iconic character. The actor will also be the executive producer alongside Eisler, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. The scriptwriter is yet to be decided upon.


Eisler's novel Rain Fall won the 2005 Barry Award for Best Thriller [5] and The Gumshoe Award.[6] Fault Line reached Number 18 on The New York Times Hardcover Bestseller List.[7]


John Rain Novels

Ben Treven Novels



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eisler, Barry. "From the Author". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Pinter, Jason. "Why I'm Self-Publishing". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  3. ^ National Public Radio. "Barry Eisler's 'Detachment' From 'Legacy' Publishing". Morning Edition. National Public Radio. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ O'Brien, Jenny. "Thriller author Barry Eisler signs with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint". Puget Sound Business Journal. Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Barry awards". Deadly Pleasures. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "The gumshoe award". Crime Fiction Awards. Omnimystery. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Retrieved 13 April 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]