Monday, August 24, 2009

Book recommendation: Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd

If you're wanting a cracking read this Autumn then look no further than William Boyd's new book Ordinary Thunderstorms (Bloomsbury; September, 2009). It's a perfectly paced and plotted thriller which is guaranteed to have you turning the pages right from the start. It follows young climatologist Adam Kindred whose life is suddenly turned upside down when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up being the only suspect in a murder. This leads to him going on the run and living off-grid and feral with London's homeless whilst not only the police but the psychopathic real killer try to track him down. It's definitely edge of your seat stuff but it also delivers on many other levels thanks to William Boyd's incredible talent. There's the fragility of our day to day security and identity, something which also resonated in another of his books Any Human Heart. Then there's the idea of the paths we tread and do not tread and where each of these lead and inter-connect with those of others. Above all there is the image of the unreal city that is London and at its heart the Thames which carries away some of its filth whilst retaining sufficient amounts to provide a record or memory of the inter-connecting histories which have taken place within this vast metropolis. Think Dickens, Hogarth, Peter Ackroyd and a dose of Martin Amis's Keith Talent and you start to get a flavour. But then add the pace and simple pzazz that is William Boyd's own and you're halfway there. I couldn't recommend it more highly! You can pre-order it on amazon in hardback here (£13.29 incl p&p) and in paperback here (£8.39 incl p&p).

1 comment:

Ardmayle said...

Spot on Tim - a very good summary and a rollicking read as you suggest. It's nice to read a good story without to much attendant literary posturing.