Ordinary Thunderstorms: A Novel (Paperback)
Summer 2012 Reading Group
“When Adam Kindred returns to London after years in the U.S. to interview for a research position at Imperial College, a chance encounter at a restaurant sets off his dizzying descent from academic to vagabond murder suspect in the matter of days. Sleeping rough and trolling the underworld of London just to survive, Adam attempts to prove his innocence and escape assassination by a crazed hired killer. William Boyd is a great storyteller.”
— Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
One May evening in London, Adam Kindred, a young climatologist in town for a job interview, is feeling good about the future as he sits down for a meal at a little Italian bistro. He strikes up a conversation with a solitary diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterward. With horrifying speed, this chance encounter leads to a series of malign accidents, through which Adam loses everything—home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, credit cards, cell phone—never to get them back.
William Boyd's electrifying follow-up to the Costa Award-winning Restless, Ordinary Thunderstorms is a profound and gripping novel about the fragility of social identity, the corruption at the heart of big business, and the secrets that lie hidden in the seamy underbelly of every city.
“Boyd has constructed a narrative machine of hilarious, near-impossible intricacy for the purpose of demonstrating that identity is fragile and that instinct, for better or worse, is not. . . . He is a debonair, versatile, casually philosophical literary entertainer—clever and thoughtful.”
“Charles Dickens lurks in the shadows of William Boyd’s gripping new novel, Ordinary Thunderstorms, which . . . has a Dickensian cast of characters—predators and prey, tycoons and paupers, charlatans and stooges—orbiting one another in the mean streets of London.”
“Boyd is highly adept at doing what novelists do best: exploring the multifarious possibilities implicit in human life.”
“William Boyd delivers a multiplot thriller full of twists and turns in Ordinary Thunderstorms.”
“A thrilling story.”
“Impressive. . . . Rich and engaging. . . . Boyd creates the rich spectrum of London with arresting cinematic detail. . . . Boyd gives a harrowing sense of how close and yet how distant the nether life of a large city is.”