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Ordinary Thunderstorms: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 26, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
`Ordinary Thunderstorms' (the title reflects the way in which simple climatic phenomena can grow in complexity to major events) is brilliantly observed and meticulously written. No reader in the U.S. should stay away simply because it deals significantly with London and the Thames. It explains much that curious and intelligent readers want to know about any major world city, a stunning insider view that strips modern London to its truths.
Boyd takes us into the times, places and events with unerring skill, drawing out the characters with exquisite detail of appearance, speech, environment, motivation and behavior. This is a thriller of extraordinary dimensions, and one can only hope it will be filmed, to provide (yet again) counterpoint to the mindless drivel that passes increasingly for movie entertainment these days.
I will not reveal the plot. The suspense is excruciating, and who would deny a reader that pleasure? Suffice it to say that Boyd traces the life and transformation into other worlds and identities of a young British college professor, newly returned to the U.K. from the U.S., dragged unsuspecting into a murder for which he is considered guilty. As it evolves, the story encompasses a pharmaceutical-corporation deception of global intricacy, a murder-for-hire thug, a young black prostitute and her son, a revivalist mission, and the London police.Read more ›
A young man - Adam Kindred - through a misfortunate occurrence is forced to change his life and persona. He becomes another person entirely and enters a world previously unknown to him: living, for a time, as a down and out in London. He truly disappears, goes underground and his previous existence vanishes.
The necessity comes from the fact that Adam is persistently hunted by a lone gunman, and comes close to being killed. The tragedy is that the new Adam eventually loses his own sense of morality and carries out a terrible crime, seemingly with little remorse or reflection.
Reminiscent of George Orwell's "Down and Out in Paris and London" we are taken into an underworld of poverty, crime and hopelessness, with no place for the ordinary morality we take for granted. The realisation that this world is so close to our ordinary lives is a sobering one - as well as the concept that a mere misfortune could send any of us plunging into its dark despair. Particularly chilling is the concept that an individual can be killed and the body disposed of so easily in a great city like London. All underneath our very noses.
William Boyd seems to invent, for this underclass, a type of street language - using words like "flat" and "Green Peas" - helping to immerse the reader into this bizarre world.
William Boyd has explored the concept of altered identities in other books but it is fully fleshed out in this tale.
The story moves along at a great pace - with each chapter bringing fresh developments in the plot.Read more ›
The restaurant is excellent, and as he savors his scaloppine al vitello, he nods to a man seated nearby, also eating alone. They exchange polite greetings and a short, innocuous conversation ensues. But after the other man leaves, Adam realizes that he left behind a file. Fortunately, it has a name --- Dr. Philip Wang --- and an address on it. Did this fellow Wang do it on purpose? Could he maybe be trying to set up some lurid tryst? Adam pushes these thoughts aside and walks the file over to the address. And that's when everything goes horribly wrong.
Just when Adam thought he was about to celebrate a new, lucrative position, instead he finds himself running from the law. Panicked, he holes up for the night, thinking some sane resolution will occur to him shortly. By morning, there is a "wanted" notice in the newspaper, with an impressive reward for his capture. He actually considers turning himself in; he even goes to the police station. In the end, he loses his nerve and decides to lay low and wait for the cops to find the right man. In the meantime, however, he discovers that it's not just the police looking for him. He's caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, for if the police find him, he'll surely go to jail for a long time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
HOW DID THE POLICE WOMAN HE WAS LIVING WITH FIND OUT HIS REAL NAME AT THE END????????//Published 4 hours ago by richard D. miller
This book started really slow for me and then picked up pace. I got connected and involved as the plot enfolded. The lessons are real, while the situations seem bizarre.Published 13 days ago by Lorne D. Walker
This novel about an innocent man on the run who hides his identity and plunges down the social scale to live among the underclass reminded me of John Buchan, George Orwell and... Read morePublished 16 days ago by John Fitzpatrick
Brilliant, fast paced and understandable. If you like the Night Manager, this is the book for youPublished 26 days ago by Marie Henry
Hard to put down, great read with a somewhat unsatisfactory ending.Published 3 months ago by Suki Wochna
I enjoyed this book, it's about this guy that witnesses a crime and has to go underground to save his life. Read morePublished 6 months ago by joanne young
This is a great romp. Everything that could go wrong for the protagonist does, but the interesting characters he meets along the way, and what he becomes as a result is worth... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Caroline Brinkley
I recently read "Restless" by the same author and enjoyed it. This book seems to have been written by a different author. Read morePublished 9 months ago by dennis weller
I loved the story line Boyd excellent writer. The editing by harpers was crippling horrible.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer