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Ordinary Thunderstorms

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  7,128 ratings  ·  811 reviews
Adam Kindred, trentenne climatologo americano sbarcato a Londra per un colloquio di lavoro, dopo aver vagato lungo il Tamigi dalle parti di Chelsea Bridge, decide di varcare la soglia di un ristorante italiano, senza avere alcuna idea del fatto che nel giro di un paio d’ore la sua vita cambierà completamente.
A metà cena gli si avvicina un altro avventore solitario. Ingles
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Harper (first published August 11th 2009)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  7,128 ratings  ·  811 reviews

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Glenn Russell

Ordinary Thunderstorms - combination fast-paced thriller and sprawling Charles Dickens-like London saga.

During an interview, William Boyd recounts Charles Dickens both opened and closed Our Mutual Friend with a scene at a river in London. Ah, London, the British author continues, the most cosmopolitan, diversified city in the world, even outflanking New York; London, a city spread out over many hundreds of square miles - and unlike other cities, London’s vitality and uniqueness is as manifest a
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brits
Good Reads now makes recommendations, amazon makes recommendations, my friends here guide my impulses of what to put on my wishlist, I have a shelf of unread books that is quietly groaning under the weight of past purchases, and yet, and yet.....
Certain elements come together: I've just sold two books - never mind that, in the past weeks, five have come in for the two going out - it's November and I'm feeling end-of-the-yearish, days-drawing-in-ish, and even if I do buy a lot of my books online,
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Stop me if you‘ve heard this one before. An innocent person discovers someone who has just been murdered, and then they stupidly pick up the weapon, end up covered in blood and then they’re accused of the crime. That scene has played out so many times in pop entertainment that I think anyone with more than ten working brain cells would instantly know that the one thing you should never do if you find a body is pick up the murder weapon.

Then I met Adam Kindred in Ordinary Thunderstorms. Adam is
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: past-favourites
A Superb Novel!
After reading about Wm. Boyd’s multi-award winning novels I recently purchased this mystery/thriller. After a few pages I was completely hooked. It is an extraordinary story, excellent plot and has many interesting characters. Don’t hesitate to give this gifted writer a serious look.
Description: It is May in Chelsea, London. The glittering river is unusually high on an otherwise ordinary afternoon. Adam Kindred, a young climatologist in town for a job interview, ambles along the Embankment, admiring the view. He is pleasantly surprised to come across a little Italian bistro down a leafy side street. During his meal he strikes up a conversation with a solitary diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterwards. With horrifying speed, this chance encounter leads to a series ...more
Mark Porton
Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd started off really well for me but ended up being a little disappointing.

It started off as a 4 star effort, as the main character - Adam (alias John) - got himself into a real pickle by no fault of his own. He then made a series of decisions that were kind of believable, but became somewhat outlandish, this became more so as the story rolled on.

There was some intrigue thrown in, particularly in the field of pharmaceutical science and finance. This did illu
Simon Lipson
Aug 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I recently finished reading William Boyd's latest novel, Ordinary Thunderstorms. It took me forever because I kept abandoning it then picking it up again. I mean, surely it couldn't be that awful all the way through to the final page. Could it? Well, no. Somehow, it actually got worse before disappearing up its own bottom with a grim squelch. I had to check that this was the same William Boyd who wrote Restless and Armadillo. Tragically, it was.

I'm not Boyd's biggest fan, but have generally foun
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2010
Ordinary Thunderstorms is an extremely flawed novel. It's ostensibly a mystery, but it never completely solves that mystery. The protagonist makes a series of very odd choices that don't strike me as being believable. The ending is kind of a non-ending with a lot of loose threads, yet it's clearly not setting up a sequel. Yet, I give it 4 stars for the beauty of the writing. Boyd does an amazing job describing his characters and the setting. He uses an astounding vocabulary, but doesn't sound li ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Loved other books by Boyd, but this one bored me. May give it a try some other time since Boyd is a favorite author. May be a matter of right book, wrong time.
Mark Hebwood
Feb 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Hm. This was my first William Boyd and I have to confess I did not know what to make of it. Throughout my entire read, I felt both confused and a bit dazed - I just could not work out what this novel was trying to be... It clearly is not a literary novel - it does not seem to stand for something, it is not an obvious metaphor for things deeper than those that happen in it. It seems to be a thriller - certainly there is mystery here and it is set in the world of the pharma industry, there is an u ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone

William Boyd is Scottish by descent, was born in Ghana, and educated in Scotland and France. He completed a PhD in literature at Oxford. He is to my thinking a hybrid, an intellectual who has written a dozen novels, won awards but is considered British because he lives there part of the time. (You will see where I am going with this.) I have always been curious about his books, though Ordinary Thunderstorms, his 12th novel, is the first I have read. It won't be the last.

Recently I have come acro
A thoroughly enjoyable and captivating thriller, that sees a man return to the UK after his divorce, sit in a café, meet a strange, whom he offers to help and ends up getting involved in a global conspiracy. Boyd captures London quite well in this book, the idea that in a city so big, so diverse and so faceless people can get lost and disappear; yet also reinvent themselves. I really liked this book. 7 out of 12
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops, 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Adam Kindred, climatologist
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 4.75

A chance encounter leads a man to lose everything—his identity and his life as a respected professional—in this chilling psychological adventure
Publicity Contact: Katherine Beitner,

Adam Kindred is a promising young climatologist who is in London for a job interview with a prestigious university. After the interview, he is in the mood for an Italian dinner. If only he had chos
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Immensely enjoyable, Ordinary Thunderstorms is a literary thriller set in the world of global pharamceutical companies and packed with enough plot twists for half a dozen novels.

It takes the reader on a whistlestop tour of London society, from millionaires to illiterate prostitutes via academics, hospital porters, dissolute lords, police officers and self-styled African bishops.

The plot springs into life within the first few pages when, after a chance encounter in a cafe, the hero, Adam Kindred
Roz Morris
May 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Iain Rowan
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm not quite sure what Boyd was going for here: a straight thriller, or a playful pastiche. Neither worked, for me, and it left the book as an uncomfortable amalgam of the two. I'm a sucker for stories about identity, and about missing people, but part of the reason this disappointed was that the protagonist was rather flat, and I never felt as if I got inside his skin. Some of the secondary characters were the same, from the ex-SAS coldhearted killer to the prostitute with a heart of gold, spe ...more
"Ordinary Thunderstorms","William Boyd","1408802473","review","A young, successful climatologist moves from the USA to London after a divorce. He has just been interviewed for a prestigious position for which he will probably be hired. Following the interview something happens, and through a series of bad luck and bad choices he finds himself on the run from the police and from an ex-commando hit man. He finds himself penniless, with no identity and living in the streets, or rather behind some b ...more
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book. William Boyd is one of my favourite authors (Any Human Heart is one of my top 20). I just found this that was a holiday-type thriller paperback. The descriptions of living rough in London were evocative and vivid but the characters only ever appeared to be on a superficial level and I didn't really care for them or feel for them which would be crucial to the plot getting under your skin. Shame I was hoping for so much more.
Fiction Addition Angela
Very enjoyable story of a man”s will to survive whilst on the run in London. A young man stumbles upon a murder scene and instead of going to the police he decides to try to live life on the streets until he can clear his innocence. A little far fetched but what novel isn’t - lots of twists and turns, great characters, . London locations well described and I have no hesitation to recommend the book to anyone who likes a good thriller. The end is left open. I hope there’s a follow on.
Ron Charles
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
The most astonishing thing about William Boyd's fine new novel is how hackneyed its opening chapter is. It reads so much like a parody of thriller conventions that you expect Alfred Hitchcock to waddle out and drawl, "Good eve-en-ning."

On the first page, we learn that a young climatologist named Adam Kindred has "no idea how his life is about to change in the next few hours -- massively, irrevocably -- no idea at all." Okay, then, we're ready for excitement -- massively, irrevocably ready: Notic
Nick Sweeney
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I like William Boyd's writing a lot, and have read everything of his apart from his spoof biography of painter Nat Tate, which I must track down. My favourite WB books are The New Confessions and Any Human Heart, which were both long sagas taking in a lot of events and people through the whole of the twentieth century, and I feel that he pulls off such monumental tasks with great skill. He also does small worlds very well, such as those in Brazzaville Beach and A Good Man in Africa. So how does ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: may-jun-2010
In his tenth novel, Boyd takes a stab at the ""wronged-man-on-the-run"" plot, with mixed results. While some critics thought it a ""snappy page-turner, a true thriller"" (Philadelphia Inquirer), others felt the story falters under the weight of clunky writing and tiresome clich̩s. This came as a surprise to reviewers, who were accustomed to the elegant, precise prose in Boyd's earlier works. Ordinary Thunderstorms may not appeal to the conventional thriller fan. It perhaps works best as a novel ...more
Susan Stuber
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a really, really good book: the plot is clever, the characters are well drawn out, the scene depictions are exquisite, the language is smart without being show-offy, and the message of the book (your life can be turned upside down in an instant but with luck and brains you can set it right again) comes across toughly sweet. The pacing keeps the reader in suspense up until the very end. And the end is where I downgraded the book from a five to a four-star read.
For the book to get an "amaz
Bill Khaemba
I really fell in love with the book and quite familiarized with the character of Adam who one minute he got his life together with a promising new job things couldn't get any better but WAIT A minute Everything is falling apart before his very eyes *he literally changes his name 3 times*

Apart from minor issues like the author leaving readers with alot of unfinished business and theories like how he forced a relationship out of nowhere and how he didn't expand on some really promising characters
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller
Decent enough thriller but this writer has written so much better it is disapointing to read an average pot boiler from him.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
William Boyd is well... well... how do I put this tactfully? He's like an easy a dish you make when entertaining guests. My go to easy dish is meatballs. It isn't the best dish I make but it easy and it tastes good. With the right presentation it doesn't look ordinary or boring. Secondly, I know they're just meatballs but they taste darn good. Suck that IKEA meatballs! Just kidding! But do you want to know the truth? It never fails every time I make them some asks me to disclose the ingredients ...more
Marina Maidou
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The author begins a usual story about a divorced meteorologist, which by accident becomes a fugitive accused for a genetist's murder. He hides himself at first under a bridge, after in a strange church called John Christ's Church and so on. The title is misleading: nothing in the book talks about weather. It's also exact, because everything begins so ordinary and then chaos happens. The cover of the greek edition is the most beautiful, has a achictectural poetry, the characters are very vivid an ...more
Sep 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Henry David Thoreau decided to live in a cabin next to a pond, and his writing has enjoyed a long shelf life because of it.* It's an unusual decision to live out, but not an unusual decision to imagine living.

Regardless of how irritated I've felt about society, I've always fallen back on the belief that it would be impossible to live underground in the 21st century. I was wrong.

In his latest novel, William Boyd spends the better part of 400 pages showing that people are living off the grid all t
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The core of this book is a steal from The 39 Steps, with an innocent man finding himself at the wrong place at the right time, interrupting a murder for which he is subsequently framed. Spinning out from this we have the familiar tropes of such thrillers recast with a modern, literary bent: the hero goes on the run, but rather than fleeing to Scotland he loses himself in the murky London underworld of outcasts and the homeless; the murderer is clear from the outset, though who he’s working for i ...more
Ronald Roseborough
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Have you ever set aside a book promising yourself to read it later, because another book came along that you were dying to read? Then another book comes along that was well hyped and then another. Eventually you find that first book under a pile of other books you have read. You finally get a chance to read it and it turns out this book is better than many of the other books you read since you first set this one aside. Ordinary Thunderstorms: A Novel is that book. Adam Kindred is a young man who ...more
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Note: William^^Boyd

Of Scottish descent, Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana on 7th March, 1952 and spent much of his early life there and in Nigeria where his mother was a teacher and his father, a doctor. Boyd was in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the brutal secessionist conflict which ran from 1967 to 1970 and it had a profound effect on him.

At the age of nine years he attended Gordonstoun school, in

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