- Audio CD: 11 pages
- Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books; Unabridged audio book. edition (10 Jan. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1407441132
- ISBN-13: 978-1407441139
- Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.7 x 13.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 925,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ordinary Thunderstorms (unabridged audio book) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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More About the Author
(Photo credit: Eamonn McCabe)
"William Boyd's Ordinary Thunderstorms is a pacey thriller that lends itself peculiarly well to narration, as Boyd puts us into four contrasting mindsets. The narrator, Martyn Ellis, transfixes the listener with a bravura performance, voicing Rotherhithe deadbeats, Southwark evangelists, upper-class Chelsea twits and ruthless South Americans with equal conviction." The Times "Compellingly read by Martyn Ellis, it is a serious, thoughtful and provocative novel. And it speeds along faster than a cheetah." The Independent"
About the Author
William Boyd is the author of nine novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection.
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Top Customer Reviews
`Ordinary Thunderstorms' (the metaphor reflects the way in which simple climatic phenomena can grow in complexity to major events) is brilliantly observed and meticulously written. No reader outside the U.K. should stay away simply because it deals significantly with London, the Thames and their centuries-old mysteries. It explains much that curious and intelligent readers anywhere would want to know about any major world city, a stunning insider view that strips modern London to its truths.
Boyd takes us into the times, places and events with unerring skill, drawing out the characters with exquisite detail of appearance, speech, environment, motivation and behaviour. This is a thriller of extraordinary dimensions, and one can only hope it will be filmed, to provide (yet again) counterpoint to the mindless drivel that passes increasingly for movie entertainment these days.
I will not reveal the plot. Other reviewers have done so, mostly from the book jacket. The suspense is excruciating, and who would deny a reader that pleasure? Suffice it to say that Boyd traces the life and transformation into other worlds and identities of a young British college professor, an expert on climate, newly returned to the U.K. from the U.S., dragged unsuspecting into a murder for which he is considered guilty. And he learns survival, down to its core.Read more ›
I also felt that what happened to Vince Turpin (no spoilers here!) just didn't work at all, on any level.
On the plus side, there's plenty of great descriptive prose here, and an interesting insight into London's underbelly. I also loved Ingram.
My last word, however, is on vocabulary. Is it really necessary to use words like borborygmi? (there were numerous others - sooo wish I'd marked them). I found their use irritating and showy-offy.I have never heard a single person describe a rumbling stomach thus - though perhaps i just move in the wrong circles....
As one would expect from William Boyd Ordinary Thunderstorms is beautifully written and all the strata of London are laid out before us. We meet tramps, prostitutes, evangelists, illegal immigrants, drug dealers, shady businessmen and contract killers. The story is adeptly presented - Adam Kindred (despite his loss of identity) adapts himself to his new situation and has many ingenious methods of survival - but along the way the reader shares with him his hunger, despair and isolation. As in some Dickens' novels the city of London and the Thames are central - almost additional characters.
The plot is wonderfully constructed and keeps you gripped to the very end. The characterisations were well observed and believable (although I found the John Christ Church set up a bit far-fetched).
Having read all of Boyd's novels I would say that this is his best since Any Human Heart.
A brilliant literary thriller - highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of Boyd's best, I think. I love the descriptions of London's seedy underbelly, & some of the characterisation was excellent. Read morePublished 22 days ago by STEWART BARTLAM
“Bill, love. There’s a shot at the next Bond novel, but you’re going to need a calling card. Well, I say a calling card. I mean a thriller. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Morris
A gripping tale and well constructed but I did not enjoy it as much of the other novels I have read by William Boyd. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rozfran
A young man chances upon a murder. Instead of going to the police he decides to hide by living rough in London. Hmmm. I think I might have gone to the police. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr. W. H. Konarzewski
I have just re-read this. I really feel for Adam, and I am gripped by each turn of his story. A great thriller with real people.Published 5 months ago by Derek Smith
Bought to finish after library copy had to go back. A book club choice that I couldn't get on with, beginning annoyed me, so didn't finish it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Helen P
A real disappointment. I was strongly tempted to give up after the first twenty pages or so. Boyd's a good writer and his character and scene descriptions just about carry this... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jezza