Start reading Incendiary on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
Incendiary (Unabridged) Narrated by Tracy-Ann Oberman £14.99 £6.99

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Incendiary [Kindle Edition]

Chris Cleave
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.00 (38%)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
This price was set by the publisher
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £6.99 after you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £7.99  
Audio Download, Unabridged £0.00 Free with Audible trial
Audio, CD, Audiobook --  
Kindle Books Summer Sale
Kindle Summer Sale: Books from 99p
Browse over 600 titles from best-selling authors, including Neil Gaiman, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Veronica Roth and Sylvia Day. >Shop now

Book Description

You aren't stupid. You know there's no such thing as a perfect mother. Plenty of other books will tell you there is, but this one won't lie to you. I was weak and I cheated and I was punished, but my god I loved my child through all of it. Love means you never break, and it means you're stronger than the things they do to you. I know this is true because I have been through fire, and I am the proof that love survives. I am not a perfect mother but I will tell you the perfect truth, because this is you and me talking. This is my story.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description


Stunning... a haunting work of art. (Newsweek)

Chris Cleave has the ability to create moving and beautiful scenes within a terrifying backdrop. I couldn't put it down; it's subversive, thought-provoking and well-written. (Observer, Books of the Year)

Richly sardonic and often disarmingly poignant... How can one fail to be impressed and moved? (Guardian)

Cleave's heroine is by turns funny, sad, flawed, sympathetic, both damaged and indomitable, and triumphantly convincing. (Sunday Telegraph)

Stunning (New York Times AND International Herald Tribune AND Bookmarks Magazine)

This is a compulsive read, sure to stir the dust (CITY AM)

Searing.. poignant and compelling.. Utterly believable and mesmerizing (Newsday)

Dark, tense and undeniably provocative (Metro)

Hilariously sympathetic and convincing (San Francisco Chronicle)

Mesmerizing (Washington Post)

Lawrence Norfolk,

‘The eloquence of Cleaves heroine is equal to the atrocity which claims her family. She is … triumphantly convincing.’

Product details

More About the Author

Chris Cleave's debut novel INCENDIARY was a prize-winner and international bestseller, published in 20 countries.
Inspired by his early childhood in West Africa, THE OTHER HAND is his second novel. He is married with two children, and lives in Kingston-upon-Thames. He keeps a website at and can be found on

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few commas would not have gone amiss 6 Dec. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like many others, I am in two minds about this book.

It's about a woman that loses her husband and son in a terrorist event at a football game and subsequently develops post traumatic stress disorder, with a few twists and turns that don't usually happen to the average griever thrown in for good measure.

I didn't tire of the story and read it in a couple of sittings. However this could have been because I felt like I was careening through the text at a rate of knots due to the lack of commas put in by the author. I can only infer that this was one of his clever devices used to remind us that the main character was working class, as well as reminding us a few times that she likes to cook breaded chicken products, and say "on account of" a lot. I felt ambivalent towards her; she was clearly intended to be complex - simple and straightforward, yet worldly wise. This could have been explored more, rather than tritely alluding to a sexual abuse incident by one of mum's boyfriends when she was a teen - the layers needed to be built up more.

I found Jasper and Petra to be very black and white characters; it was difficult to reconcile their actions as they were either being extremely pleasant, or extremely awful.

With that being said, there were things that Cleave did well. I found his descriptions of the disasters vivid, and thought that he did a good job of conveying the grief of a mother, and her decline after the post traumatic stress disorder set in.

There are books that are far worse than this, the author has potential but perhaps should not write out of his comfort zone in future. An easy read for a long journey or holiday - if you don't mind depressing subject matter.
Was this review helpful to you?
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, terrifying, funny and completely gripping 26 July 2005
Even without the dreadful coincidence lent by its publication day and the London atrocities occurring together, Incendiary is a truly powerful book.
Using jauntily naive language from a female central character Cleaver has written a book that is both laugh-out-loud funny, deeply unsettling and terribly sad. The book takes the form of a long letter to Osama Bin Laden written by a woman whose "chaps" -- her policeman husband and four year old son -- were incinerated in a terrorist attack on a London football stadium. The letter recounts her experiences after the deaths and her descent into the madness brought about by her grief. Without her chaps she has no real reason to live -- and certainly no reason to remain sane in a world going steadily mad all by itself.
The terrifying, sad story is woven around with a descant of humour, some sharp one-liners, bitingly accurate perceptions and gripping story-telling. Using the device of an uneducated but very intelligent woman as his narrator allows Cleave to write some wonderful descriptions of people that use simile and metaphor to great effect, producing really great writing that delights with its accuracy and perceptiveness. Very, very clever; very very good.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hmmm.... 28 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am so torn with regards to this book, that in a way I would like to write 2 reviews. In some ways I think the book is brilliant. In others it is frankly terrible and more than a little distasteful.

The book is extremely gripping and I was never bored while reading it, not for a second. The style is gripping and original, with a funny and original central voice. The author has a vivid attention to detail, painting scenes with simplistic but striking details. It is also very touching at times, especially towards the beginning.

However, I would take issue with the morals of the main character, and the implication that they are typical of working class mothers. In particular, she leaves her little boy alone in the house, to go to the pub where she subsequently cheats on her husband. This alone made me violently dislike her. That the author would like us to view her as innocent and naive is distasteful in my opinion. She supposedly cared for her husband and little boy, but in actual fact she didn't seem to care at all, she just needed them, which is a different thing. The author tried to make it seem less seedy by emphasising the fact that she likes sex with strangers if it's 'gentle'; but it is seedy nonetheless. She is even having sex with a stranger at the moment her husband and son are blown up. I don't expect fictional characters to be perfect - in fact it would be extremely annoying if they were - but I expect them to have at least some redeeming features if I am to care what happens to them. This main character is a neglectful mother and wife, she is needy and selfish and seemingly obsessed with sex, even while she is grieving.

I would also say the book is unrealistic in a number of ways.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising 9 Feb. 2006
By A Customer
Incendiary is one of the most extraordinary books I have ever read. Daring, provocative and sometimes heartbreaking, Cleave's narrator had me gripped from beginning to end. Cleverly told and often uproariously funny, this multi-layered story reveals itself as an impassioned denouncement of terrorism, and a warning that our emotional responses to terrorism risk destroying our own way of life. Like the issue of terrorism itself, this is a complex and divisive book, and people will either love it or hate it. Some people won't get it at all. Read it, and decide for yourself. You won't be wasting your time. I was up till the small hours reading Incendiary - it's that compelling.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars torn. I both loved and hated it
I'm torn. I both loved this book and hated it. I loved the narrator, she is very real and down to earth with a good sense of humour yet also poignantly vulnerable and real. Read more
Published 11 days ago by singingcapybara
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit implausible
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good read
I bought this book 6 years ago and it has spent all that time sitting on the bookshelf - I picked it up on Friday with the intention of sending it to the charity shop (I decided... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Janine Routley
4.0 out of 5 stars Certainly incendiary
Having read Cleave's other novels, I wasn't to sure what to make of this at first. Literary equivalents of disaster movies aren't normally my thing, but it grew on me and drew me... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. E. Needham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read with a nice twist in the tale.
Published 5 months ago by B. Hedges
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased
Published 11 months ago by Mrs Lesley S Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read more of his stories. A really really good read. I highly recommend it.
Published 14 months ago by Ms Denise M Bamber
3.0 out of 5 stars A first book, but not the author's best
I thought "The Other Hand" was briliant. moving and very memorable, so I backtracked and bought Incendiary. I've only just read it and was very disappointed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Book chatter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic....
one of the best and most memorable books I have ever read.... I even read it twice which is most unusual for me...
Published 15 months ago by audrey mckie
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this on a hotel shelf and now reccommending to all my friends...
A really exceptional, original story, I'm buying this for my son - I found a copy on holiday in Lanzarote to read while my kindle was charging. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Karolina Knapton
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category