Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd $38.99 Bloomsbury

The world of books is filled with an endless list of thrillers, pot boilers and romantic storytelling.  We often find great reading in the realms of literature and sometimes the world of literature finds us in the guise of the latest novel in the pile.
I last read William Boyd in 1993 when he wrote The Blue Afternoon.  I remember it as a beautiful piece that was more literature than fiction.  Boyd has been a film writer, academic and a novellist.  I wasn’t sure what kind of book Ordinary Thunderstorms would be.  It begins with us meeting Adam Kindred who has just had a probably successful job interview and has found a local London restaurant for a meal.  The solitude of dining alone leads to him striking up a conversation with a fellow lone diner.  A left behind folder leads to a good deed, when Adam returns it to the fellow diner’s hotel room.  Unfortunately Adam finds his recent aquaintance has just been murdered.  What he does or doesn’t do next will alter the course of his life.  He keeps making instantaneous choices as circumstances force decisions upon him.  Where these decisions lead is the story this novel tells.
I recommend Ordinary Thunderstorms wholeheartedly.  I love the gritty realism, the details of a life on the run in London and the choices Adam makes.  Boyd has brought his film-makers eye to bear in this story that had my mind and thoughts spinning long after I had read the final page.

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