"On July 7th, 2005, terrorists detonated four bombs during London's rush hour; that same day, this debut novel -- about a deadly bombing in London -- was published in the U.K. It takes the form of a letter to Osama bin Laden, written by a working-class woman who lost her husband and children in the attack. Her voice -- a stream-of-consciousness style with little regard for punctuation, heavy on East End slang -- and graphic depictions of violence make for a compelling if not easy read. Though there's humour, the letter-writer's grief, and the other emotions that overwhelm her, are the focal point of a novel that takes a stunning tragedy and makes it personal." Fiction A to Z July 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/b4f6ee64-db77-4e52-b8b4-047c4a840df7?postId=68a5ce8f-6d53-453a-a4fa-045bd063b705
Incendiary is an ultra-satisfying book which you'll sink into...unable to surface until the very end. The horrifying event which transforms the protagonist's life - the loss of her husband and child in a terrorist attack on a London soccer stadium - is all too believable and is written with harrowing detail. I empathized with the narrator - she is an imperfect woman who must try to regain a sense of normalcy in a world that no longer makes any sense. In this out-of-control world, her illogical decision to write a letter to Osama bin Laden does indeed seem oddly reasonable. Her account has a dark, comic edge - at times I laughed out loud and at others I felt such despair. I read this book in one sitting - I absolutely could not put it down. I highly recommend Incendiary. Bravo Chris Cleave - what an outstanding first novel!
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