- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Canada (Feb. 15 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307358216
- ISBN-13: 978-0307358219
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #331,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ordinary Thunderstorms Paperback – Feb 15 2011
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A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
A Daily Beast Best Book
“It is the expansiveness of vision that raises Ordinary Thunderstorms above the run of the mill. Boyd has created a novel dripping with ideas and impressive in its scope….one cannot help but be swept along by the thundering narrative tide.”
— The Observer
“A top-drawer thriller with gripping social concerns.”
— Edmonton Journal
“Ordinary Thunderstorms . . . is written with Boyd’s characteristic energetic elegance and imminent-danger focused writing—as well as his experienced screenwriting skills. . . . I love reading Boyd.”
— The Globe and Mail
“Whip-crack smart, with a pace to match, Boyd ramps up the paranoia in this novel of identity and reinvention”
— Marie Claire (UK)
— The Guardian
“An elegant, gripping thriller.”
— The Daily Beast
“Great suspense stuff here, told with flair, compassion, and a high sense of humor.”
— Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
One May evening in London, Adam Kindred, a young climatologist in town for a job interview, is feeling good about the future as he sits down for a meal at a little Italian bistro. He strikes up a conversation with a solitary diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterward. With horrifying speed, this chance encounter leads to a series of malign accidents, through which Adam loses everything—home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, credit cards, cell phone—never to get them back.
The police are searching for him. There is a reward for his capture. A hired killer is stalking him. He is alone and anonymous in a huge, pitiless modern city. Adam has nowhere to go but down—underground. He decides to join that vast army of the disappeared and the missing who throng London’s lowest levels as he tries to figure out what to do with his life and struggles to understand the forces that have made it unravel so spectacularly. Adam's quest will take him all along the river Thames, from affluent Chelsea to the gritty East End, and on the way he will encounter all manner of London's denizens—aristocrats, prostitutes, evangelists, and policewomen—and version after new version of himself.
Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd's electric follow-up to his award-winning Restless, is a profound and gripping novel about the fragility of social identity, the corruption at the heart of big business, and the secrets that lie hidden in the filthy underbelly of every city.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
is a worthwhile read.
Great London scenes and characters from the underbelly of that immense and complex city. Read it would be my recommendation.
William Boyd is an amazing writer from the inside out, but in this novel it seemed to me that he was listening to outer voices - e.i. Okay, write your next novel, hurry hurry hurry.
Boyd has an extraordinary command of the language and of the voices of his characters, but in Ordinary Thunderstorms I think he came up with an idea (a lot of little thunderstorms gathering into one HUMUNGOUS climax), chose a bunch of characters to fill the roles of thunderstorm, and then put them to work to create his climax. I was so distracted by jumping from one character to another, chapter by chapter, that I was never able to feel anything for any of them. Each seemed extremely stupid in his own little way. Why would a professional person (the heart of the novel) relinquish logic for fear? Why not just march into the local police station, Bud, and explain yourself? Why would a professional killer focus on the very person who is taking the heat away from him? These questions go on and on.
I could not read past p. 75 (hardcover edition).
I love Boyd's writing style. But this time it wasn't enough.
Two stars for style. Three stars off for improbability and for forcing his plot beyond reason.
While it was a good book, I don't think it was fantastic or anything, and I wouldn't believe all the hype.
The story keeps you reading, and I was up until 3 a.m. finishing the book but ultimately I was left dissatisfied. I feel the plot wraps up too quickly, too succinctly.
There's also a moralistic overtone to the book, where everyone who commits a sin gets their comeuppance. Life is not so black and white and again it is overly simplistic to have bad things happen to all the bad people and good things to the good.
It works as a story, and it's a good beach read, perhaps I was just expecting too much.
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