Book Review: Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd

May 25, 2011

About:
“Ordinary Thunderstorms” by William Boyd (website) is a fictional book with many themes. The book takes place in London and follows a man whose life turned upside down.

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “Ordinary Thunderstorms” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.

  • 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN: 0061876747

My rating for Ordinary Thunderstorms – 5

Buy & Save on “Ordinary Thunderstorms” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
Ama­zon
|Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

Thoughts:
“Ordinary Thunderstorms” by William Boyd is an exploration of identity as well as a excursion into the not so touristic spots in London. This is an ambitious and well crafted novel where the quirkiness might not be necessary, but is welcomed.

The narrative flows smoothly and the characters are engaging, one can’t help but notice that Boyd has some affection towards loveable, bumbling fools.  This is an intelligent, competent thriller which, surprisingly, moves at a leisurely pace between characters interweaving their stories in a cat-and-mouse game.

There are many sub-plots which are all very interesting yet underdeveloped. There are houseboat residents, the lawless – inside, outside and above the law, underground subculture, the wealthy subculture and an interesting takeoff of Christianity. All are amusing and thoughtful which I would have loved to read more about – but this would most likely have tripled the size of the book.

Mr. Boyd tells of human drama, fools, criminals, patsies and losers living on the edges of society. For every loser there is a person who is above and below them in the hierarchy of life, but it seems that the hierarchy is circular and never-ending. Mr. Boyd writes the most complex and humane character as someone the reader never expected. Ingram Fryzer, the president of the evil big-pharma conglomerate comes off as an almost pathetic figure. Fryzer, a successful multi-billionaire who wields powerful entities is not a happy man, cannot get the love he so wishes for from his sons and father and ultimately has no more power than the protagonist, Adam Kindred has over his own life.

What I appreciate about novels like this one is that they make you think well after you finished reading them. In this book there is a running joke, a theme which is returned to over and over again – the question of identity.

The hunted Kindred as well as many of the other characters in the book, seem to be running away from their civilized identity, creating someone new who might not be as successful, but it will be someone who leaves behind the old baggage and start anew – even if they will be considered failures in the eyes of their old selves.

Amazingly, Kindred come to realize that maybe all his trials and tribulations were a blessing in disguise. He meets a girl, letting go of his old life and realize that anonymity in the big city might be frightening, but the thrill of personal reinvention is almost addicting.

So tell me, would you like a chance to reinvent yourself?

Synopsis:
Adam Kndred, a divorced, unremarkable academic weatherman is in London applying for a job. By chance he meets Philip Wang, a researchers for big-pharma who accidentally leaves a piece of paper behind. Adam tries to return the document only to find Wang punctured with a bread knife. Stupidly, Adam removes the knifeand hence causes Wang’s death and leaves his fingerprints behind.

Adam, who is not a dumb man, makes his second mistake and goes on the run pursued by Wang’s murderer and the police. As he hides and thinks of his next move he settles into a life of vagrancy and poverty living off the grid.

Buy & Save on “Ordinary Thunderstorms” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
Ama­zon
|Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

Give­away

Rules:

  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “Ordinary Thunderstorms”.
  • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
  • Must be a US/Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Sun­day May 31, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using Random.org
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked

Congratulations: quixoticdreamer@

TLC Book Tour for “Ordinary Thunderstorms”:
Monday, April 25th: The Road to Here
Thursday, April 28th: Life In Review
Thursday, April 28th: The House of the Seven Tails
Monday, May 2nd: My Reading Room
Tuesday, May 3rd: Lit and Life
Tuesday, May 10th: Dolce Bellezza
Thursday, May 12th: For the love of books
Tuesday, May 17th: Book Chatter
Wednesday, May 18th: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, May 19th: English Major’s Junk Food
Tuesday, May 24th: Bluestalking
Wednesday, May 25th: Man of La Book

Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour pro­mo­tion.

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7 Comments

  • Leslie May 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve been seeing some interesting reviews on this book. A competent thriller is always a pleasure to read. Too many subplots sometimes can get confusing so leaving some undeveloped wouldn’t bother me too much. I’ll have to put this one on my to read list and find out for myself.

  • Sheila K. May 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Sounds like a great read—please enter me to win!

    • zohar May 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks Sheila, did you fill out the form?

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours May 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I like that there are underdeveloped subplots in this book. Like you I’m sure I’d love to have them explored more but that would take away from the main story and make the book ridiculously long. But I like that they are included because they give the book added depth.

    Thanks for being on the tour – I’m glad you enjoyed this one.

  • rhonda March 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I would love to enter the draw but the form is not showing can you help.thanks!!

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