Monday, 5 December 2011

Review of the Week: 'Ordinary Thunderstorms' by William Boyd

So, I thought I would launch a new feature. Yes, another one! Review of the Week will be a small feature, changing each week, on various items which include; books, films, albums and places. The jourknow wishes to provide his opinion, and he will do so. Enjoy!

Ordinary Thunderstorms

‘A compelling fugitive chase through the dark side of modern-day London’ - Evening Standard

I could not say it better myself. To say I had a few sleepless nights due to the eagerness of turning the next page, completing the next chapter is short off the mark. From the first word, I was drawn into the setting and the narrative like flowers bursting into spring. It had everything I ever wished for: compelling characters, a strong storyline of action, adventure, crime and at some points, sexual fantasy all set in the quirky yet somehow familiar suburbs of London town.

Boyd, a familiar writer with accolades from the Costa Book Award, to Richard and Judy Bestseller for the prestigious‘Restless’ has done wonders for a story I was at first hesitant to read. A stubborn traditionalist when it comes to books, I normally‘judge by the cover’ or choose familiar titles and authors, so what chose me to pick this one? Ok, the cover did hold a certain mystery that appealed to me, and the James Bond familiarities (The main protagonist, Adam Kindred - being a modern day 007, perhaps?) made me feel comfortable as I purchased the read from Waterstones.

The plot, as it thickens, leads you too a wild goose chase at the best of times, between Adam Kindred - an American geologist/scientist/professor who is wanted for a murder he didn’t commit. Hmm - sounds a bit cliché and common to some book genres, however this uncovers a certain London that we take for granted. A realistic narrative (I know it is fiction - but how do we know it does not happen?) that leads to murder, prostitution, crime and more murder. The tone of the book is not menacing however, which is more to my liking. And what with the ever-changing events from one character to the next (The protagonist, A Police-woman, Chief Executive of a pharmaceutical company, his brother, a charming prostitute by the name of ‘MHouse’ and even a villainous assassin all share the limelight), this book makes for an engaging read from start to finish. It is realistic, it is identifiable with setting and time, and it is able to create a genre of reading that is familiar, but at the same time exciting to flick through!

Ok, there may be a few comparisons to your classic spy novels. Moreover, a slight undertone of a sexual nature does create an uncomfortable feeling for the reader (read it - and you will understand what I mean) - but this book has to be loved. With a twist at the end, it does take a while to get going due to the back and forth between assassin and escapee, yet what concludes is a cleverly written tale of a modern London in the depths of crime and corruption, each page becoming irresistible and you read on into the twilight hours.

4/5 Stars. Kieran Watkins
Warning: Lack of sleep may occur as a side effect of reading!

Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment