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Ordinary Thunderstorms (unabridged audio book) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

3.6 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)

More About the Author

William Boyd is the author of ten 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; Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection, and most recently, the bestselling Ordinary Thunderstorms.

(Photo credit: Eamonn McCabe)

Product Description

Review

"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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
William Boyd is a literary craftsman whose skills keep the reader enthralled and informed from the first page to the last. He is the antidote to all the overpraised writers fawned over erroneously on both sides of the Atlantic in the current publishing climate of `name' and `brand' because they lucked into (often underserved) popularity. Boyd is the real thing: a writer.

`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.
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4 Comments 44 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I've loved William Boyd since way back in distant history, when I was blown away by An Ice Cream War, and have continued to be mesmerised by his storytelling skills down the years. This one, however, was disappointing. It started really well; I had the usual sense of excitement about the world I was about to enter, particularly as London in my home town, and was immediately fully engaged with the various characters. But as the book progressed I became steadily more disenchanted with the plot, and felt my 'suspension of disbelief'was being more and more sorely tested. By the time I reached the end (and even though I had the lack of pages to make it obvious, it was still a shock) I had lost interest entirely. It simply wasn't an end - no resolution, no sense of justice, no feeling of satisfaction or closure.
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....
2 Comments 79 of 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
If you're wanting a cracking read this Autumn then look no further than this book. It's a perfectly paced and plotted thriller which is guaranteed to have you turning the pages right from the start. It follows young climatologist Adam Kindred whose life is suddenly turned upside down when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up being the only suspect in a murder. This leads to him going on the run and living off-grid and feral with London's homeless whilst not only the police but the psychopathic real killer try to track him down. It's definitely edge of your seat stuff but it also delivers on many other levels thanks to William Boyd's incredible talent. There's the fragility of our day to day security and identity, something which also resonated in another of his books Any Human Heart. Then there's the idea of the paths we tread and do not tread and where each of these lead and inter-connect with those of others. Above all there is the image of the unreal city that is London and at its heart the Thames which carries away some of its filth whilst retaining sufficient amounts to provide a record or memory of the inter-connecting histories which have taken place within this vast metropolis. Think Dickens, Hogarth, Peter Ackroyd and a dose of Martin Amis's Keith Talent and you start to get a flavour. But then add the pace and simple pzazz that is William Boyd's own and you're halfway there. I couldn't recommend it more highly!
1 Comment 64 of 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Adam Kindred, a climatologist who has been working in the United States, arrives in London for a job interview at Imperial College. Within hours a series of events cause him to go into hiding in fear of his life. He then goes from being a respected academic to a hunted man forced to plumb the depths of urban society. In order to remain hidden he becomes a non-person - no phone, no credit cards, no bank account, no identity.

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.
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