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Instructions for a Heatwave Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 638 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books; Unabridged edition (1 May 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1445024721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445024721
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (638 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,926,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Here is an author whose depth and insight hover just below the surface of an apparently effortless lightness...There is a deliciousness to this novel, a warmth and readability that render it unputdownable and will surely make it a hit. She's done it again' Joanne Briscoe, Guardian



'Consolidates her reputation as a writer who depicts relationships with piercing acuity in haunting, intense prose. O'Farrell is a deliciously insightful writer, observing the dynamics of relationships and astutely filleting them to the bone. Her sharp but humane eye dissects every form of human interaction' Independent on Sunday



'Instructions For A Heatwave, evocative, articulate and joyously readable, does not disappoint. An author at the top of her game.' Sunday Express



'O'Farrell is a great storyteller... All of the Riordans will stay in your mind long after you finish this book. They re funny, infuriating and impossible not to love. They feel like family' The Irish Times



'This is a surprising, beautiful novel, full of the intricacies of family life.... you'll find yourself wanting to devour it in one sitting' --The Sun's Fabulous Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Maggie O'Farrell has now sold over a million books in the UK through Bookscan. She is consistently a hardback bestseller - THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE sold just over 15,000 copies in hardback alone.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
As a rule, Maggie O'Farrell equals quality in my lexicon: I have devoured all of her novels and waited eagerly for the next. Very few contemporary authors have her command of language, in my opinion - she writes lucidly, often poetically, weaving stories of depth and subtlety with unforgettable characters. But, when I finished reading 'Instructions for a Heatwave', I was left scratching my head and asking 'what was that all about?' I've pondered on it for a couple of days now and am none the wiser.

The references to the 1976 heatwave were in no way integral to the development of the story; in fact, as many other reviewers have said, one could assume the events were unfolding in present day - in the unusually warm summer we've just had - rather than the extreme conditions of 1976. I remember that summer well. So the title was a nonsense.

The plot was thin and loosely held together by characters who were, for the most part, unsympathetic and unlikeable. Of course, it's not necessary to people a story with likeable characters but they certainly have to be believable and none of these were. I found I wasn't terribly interested to discover why most of them weren't speaking to each other at different times - none of the dynamics were explored in depth or with any conviction. In the end, I just hoped they wouldn't find Robert, the father who upped and left with no explanation, for his sake, poor beggar. Very little in the way of satisfactory explication so far as the main thrust of the plot is concerned - the husband/father who walks out without a word to anyone. Odd.

And then, when the novels finishes, an explanation from the author herself about why she wrote the novel. "I didn't intend to write this book. It happened by accident." You don't say.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel is set during the heatwave of 1976, which I remember very well. Oddly enough, I read the book during recent hot weather, and it made the heat feel even more tangible. The novel centres around the Riordan family. Gretta is the matriarch and, whatever the weather, she bakes soda bread three times a week. Her day starts as normal - she bakes and husband Robert leaves at his usual time to buy a newspapr. He doesn't return...

Robert's disappearance leads to Gretta's grown children rallying round to help. There are Michael and Monica, who are both experiencing marital problems, and youngest daughter Aiofe who lives in New York. This is a novel about family and the secrets, allegiances and relationships which are shared between the different members. Maggie O'Farrell presents a realistic portrayal of a large, Irish Catholic family and a wonderfully evocative portrayal of that never ending summer. I have never read anything by O'Farrell before, but I am sure I will devour her backlist, after this stunning book. As well as being an enjoyable personal read, it would have much to offer reading groups, with lots to discuss, and I enjoyed it immensely.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, what a load of rubbish. It just rolled on and on without any story to grab hold of and descriptions that seemed to be just space fillers.

The story was bare and had as much meat as a skeleton. How this wrangled through the production process is seriously beyond me. Complete waste of money.
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By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was sure I would love "Instructions for a Heatwave". A dysfunctional (and Irish!) family - what more could I ask for? O'Farrell's latest offering has several slowly exploding domestic dramas: the disappeared father, the unhappy marriage, the divorced sister, the dyslexic, the dead cat. And wait till you uncover the big family secret. Sounds good on paper? But I found the book was dragging on, the characters not likable (I did not really care for any of them), the secret (oh wait, there are a few) - overrated (and not at all breathtaking!), and the conclusion - unsatisfying.

The whole reference to the 1976 heatwave was completely unnecessary, the "background" played minimal role and did not add to the story at all.

Would not recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When Instructions For A Heatwave was released in 2013 I’d heard lots of great things about it through the Twitter reading community but I hadn’t got around to reading it. As I was preparing for my holiday I considered what reading material I’d need – as you have to! And because I obviously don’t have enough on my kindle alone… – this book immediately came to mind due to the title. I went into the bookstore, read the blurb, thought it was my cup of tea for my non-crime reading days and quickly purchased it.

I won’t even say whether I was around for the heatwave or if I remember it or not!

Heatwave (yes, I’m now shortening the title. I’m very sorry Maggie O’Farrell!) is a wonderful book. I found the first few pages a bit slow, as I’m used to someone being murdered pretty quickly, but once I continued reading I soon found myself engrossed in the worlds of these people. Of this family. They became real to me. I was invested and attached. I was rooting for them and sad for them. Cheering for them and holding my breath for them.

Yes, someone goes missing and it could be classed as a mystery if you wanted to stretch it, but it’s a family story, a story about wife Gretta and her children; Michael Francis, Monica and Aiofe. How their lives are now and how – as they look through the house that used to be their home for clues about their father – their lives were back then, and we find out that families are complicated. Each person individual. But ultimately they’re all there together for the same reason.

I did want the book to continue after it had actually ended as I didn’t feel I had all the answers I wanted, but O’Farrell is masterful with her keyboard and I would definitely read more by her. A great poolside read!
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