Incendiary (Book Club Readers Edition)
In an emotionally raw voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, a woman mourns the loss of her husband and son at the hands of one of history’s most notorious criminals. And in appealing to their executioner, she reveals the desperate sadness of a broken heart and a working-class life blown apart.
I read about 30 pages and I can't take any more. The narrator is an obsessive---the kind who alphabetizes everything in her kitchen cupboards and freezer...and then goes one level deeper and alphabetizes within the alphabetization!
This entire "Dear Osama" story is written in that obsessive fashion. Annoying details repeat...more
An East End [of London:] woman decides to write a letter to Osama bin Laden after a team of his suicide bombers wreck her life by indiscriminately blowing up the crowd at a football match, killing both her husband and her four-and-a-quarter year-old son, along with over a thousand other football fans.
The letter is written, mainly in the authentic language of an East End gal, but with snippets of people from other worlds. The grammar and punctuatio...more
The subject matter is incredibly depressing and there were several portions of the book that left me in tears... in public... on the subway. However, I did enjoy the "open letter" writing format and thought that it made the protagonist easier to relate to. As someone who lived and worked in NY during 9/11 I thought that it was an extremely realistic portrayal of someone going through an unfatho...more
Im Deutschen ist es jedenfalls recht vulgär/einfach. Auf der einen Seite sollte es so sein, um eine bessere Stimmung aufzubauen, auf der anderen Seite wird maßlos übertrieben.
Was sehr schade ist, ist dass der Autor wirklich gute Ideen und Ansätze hat, aber niemals in die Tiefe geht. Man hofft immer, dass noch mehr kommt.
Die Geschichte handelt von einer Frau, die bei einem Anschlag ihre Familie verliert. Und das ist...more
With these two words, Chris Cleave kicks off his powerful novel Incendiary, and you know it's not going to be something you've seen before. And indeed it is not. The entire thing is written by the unnamed protagonist in a letter to Osama bin-Laden after al-Qaeda bombed a stadium during a big match, taking the lives of her husband and son. She tries to make a go of life afterwards, but while she never explicitly asks the question, it's embedded in...more
I definitely need to find something on the opposite end of the spectrum to recover after this one.
The narrative is presented as a series of letters to Osama Bin Laden, from the point of view of an underclass widow, who lost her son and husband in a terrorist attack at a London football stadium. It's an interesting idea but in reality reads very clunkily and feels extremely unrealistic. Another reviewe...more
standing in widow of hospital deciding not to jump to her death:
London is a city built on the wreckage of itself Osama. It's had more comebacks than The Evil Dead. It's been flattened by storms and flooded out and rotted with plague. Londoners just took a deep breath and put the kettle on. Then the whole thing burned down. Every last stick of it. I remember my mum took me to see the monument to the Great Fire. London burned WITH INCREDIBLE NOISE AND FURY is...more
It's worth reading just because he is such an amazing author but ... I found the main character neither likable nor sympathetic, even though the subject matter is incredibly dark and you feel terrible about the events taking place. There are a lot of gruesome parts and then it gets almost comically bizarre at one point -- like...more
same time. Most of the story is quite involving and wonderfully written. You really feel the combination of incredible anger mixed with unbearable sadness experienced by the female protangonist, who is unnamed, after she loses both her husband and her young son in a terrorist attack at a soccer stadium. The scene where she goes to the stadium to search for her family and "she is crawling up a waterfall of blood to find my boy" s...more
Como lidar com um sentimento de culpa quando não se tem culpa? Uma mulher assiste na televisão em direto à morte do marido e do filho quando se encontra em casa com o amante. Um ataque bombista durante um jogo de futebol num estádio de Londres provoca o caos e a tragédia, mergulhando a cidade e cada habitante num ambiente de medo e desconfiança.
Mas tudo isto acaba por ser um pormenor para ela, que sofre todos os dias e todas as horas com o que perdeu, tendo de lidar com o amante jornalista que n...more
Cleave has written a book that is remarkable for his writing style and his ability to create believable characters. The choice of a letter to a terrorist is unusual and Cleave's...more
The underlying grief is a tangible physical presence. I could see the horrific firey scenes of her son's last moments; I could taste the salt in her tears, hear her screams and f...more
Honors English 9
Karcz Block 4
22 March 2013
Would you ever write a letter to Osama Bin Laden after he ruined your life? Incendiary is written entirely as if the main character is writing a letter to you about her life, like you are Osama. You never figure out the name of the woman telling the story, but you seem to know everything else about her and her life. Although Chris Cleaves young adult fiction, Incendiary, is interesting, there isn’t much of a story like other than...more
At times this is a tough novel to read. Not only is she grieving, but there are some graphic scenes that I wanted to get through quickly (both about the bombing and sexual). Also since it's in a sort of letter there are...more
I like th...more
I would say I love Cleave's books (read Little Bee some time ago), except it feels strange - can you actually enjoy a book about a terrorist attack on London?! (Or mistreatment of refugees, for that matter?) Cleave makes unexpected connections, detailed and accurate observations sound hilarious on the background of the society's bigger picture. Having a woman write a letter to...more
This one's writing is from persona, which means we get these run-on sentences and loose slang and the character's personality really bustles to the front. She becomes a very real person, one thickly layered, and as a mama, and as all of us left in book club are mamas of very young children, our hearts peel apart at what she...more
Incendiary was really moving, made more so by the way that the woman (who is never named) talks or r...more
Your men pulled the triggers on their bombs. 6 of them were wearing fragmentation bombs and the other 5 were wearing incendiaries. It had never been done before the experts said they were the most terrible suicide bombs ever used in the history of the world. They must of looked huge under those Arsenal shirts but nobody would of said anything except maybe oi you fatty guess who ate all...more
1. Letters that magically, somehow, have perfectly remembered dialogues and long plot driven descriptions that no one would ever write.
It's not only lazy but impossible to believe. The wh...more