Customer Reviews for

Incendiary

Average Rating 3.5
( 82 )
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5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(21)

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(16)

2 Star

(6)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

truly incendiary

I loved Chris Cleave's Little Bee, so when my husband learned that I was meeting a friend in a bookstore, he told me I should look for Cleave's first book Indendiary and see if I'd like that too. So I looked.

Pages of compliments to the author at the start of a book ...
I loved Chris Cleave's Little Bee, so when my husband learned that I was meeting a friend in a bookstore, he told me I should look for Cleave's first book Indendiary and see if I'd like that too. So I looked.

Pages of compliments to the author at the start of a book do tend to have a bad effect on me. By the time I'd found the first page of writing, my bookstore coffee was cold. I almost wrote the novel off as artsy and not my style but then I stopped and read again. And I was thoroughly hooked.

The novel starts as a letter: "Dear Osama." But the correspondent's no great politician, no stop-at-nothing soldier or truth-telling journalist, not even priest or a cleric, but rather a very ordinary Londoner mourning her dead boy and telling her tale.

And what a tale. Incendiary is haunting, mesmerizing even. Yet, despite its topic, it's also laugh-out-loud funny. When a neighbor in the high-class Wellington Estate tells the woman he thinks she's "very real," she responds that no-one's ever said that before, probably because they thought it so "bleeding obvious." But all the characters in this novel are heart-breakingly real, even Mr. Rabbit whose constant presence haunts and holds it together.

Of course, I'm English. There are places and names that I know as I sink into my chair and into the tale. I'm comfortable. I recognize this voice. But suddenly that quiet world falls spectacularly and totally apart. The author goes where others might justifiably fear to tread and creates something powerfully terrifying and horribly plausible.

Betrayal is such a simple word. We use it in so many ways. But one betrayal does not equal another, and Chris Cleave's novel has a depth and honesty that leaves the reader crying, not just for the dead boy, but for all the hopes and dreams that die in everyday betrayals, and for a world that might well be all too real, but really can't be trusted.

Incendiary is a masterpiece, just like Little Bee, and highly recommended.

posted by SheilaDeeth on March 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

No sample!

There was NO sample to read!

posted by 5287279 on February 1, 2011

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    truly incendiary

    I loved Chris Cleave's Little Bee, so when my husband learned that I was meeting a friend in a bookstore, he told me I should look for Cleave's first book Indendiary and see if I'd like that too. So I looked.

    Pages of compliments to the author at the start of a book do tend to have a bad effect on me. By the time I'd found the first page of writing, my bookstore coffee was cold. I almost wrote the novel off as artsy and not my style but then I stopped and read again. And I was thoroughly hooked.

    The novel starts as a letter: "Dear Osama." But the correspondent's no great politician, no stop-at-nothing soldier or truth-telling journalist, not even priest or a cleric, but rather a very ordinary Londoner mourning her dead boy and telling her tale.

    And what a tale. Incendiary is haunting, mesmerizing even. Yet, despite its topic, it's also laugh-out-loud funny. When a neighbor in the high-class Wellington Estate tells the woman he thinks she's "very real," she responds that no-one's ever said that before, probably because they thought it so "bleeding obvious." But all the characters in this novel are heart-breakingly real, even Mr. Rabbit whose constant presence haunts and holds it together.

    Of course, I'm English. There are places and names that I know as I sink into my chair and into the tale. I'm comfortable. I recognize this voice. But suddenly that quiet world falls spectacularly and totally apart. The author goes where others might justifiably fear to tread and creates something powerfully terrifying and horribly plausible.

    Betrayal is such a simple word. We use it in so many ways. But one betrayal does not equal another, and Chris Cleave's novel has a depth and honesty that leaves the reader crying, not just for the dead boy, but for all the hopes and dreams that die in everyday betrayals, and for a world that might well be all too real, but really can't be trusted.

    Incendiary is a masterpiece, just like Little Bee, and highly recommended.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2010

    Can't Say Enough About This Book

    I had no expectations going into this book. I bought it because I had just finished reading "Little Bee" and I liked the writing style of Chris Cleave. This book took me totally by suprise.....from the unique writing style and the actual story, to the author's ability to capture the disjointed grief of our main character, I was so captivated that I found myself wondering during the day (I read at night) how she was coping today. I was very taken with Cleave's grasp of how the mind works during the grief process. Definitely read this book if you appreciate depth in what you read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book!

    Chris Cleave is an exceptional author and really knows how to write a compelling story that you can't put down! I read Little Bee first and immediatly went and bought Incendiary. Both stories are wonderful and I would highly recommend.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book

    I loved everything about this book. I thought that the style of writing, telling the story in letters was amazing. This book is a must read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fascinating

    this has to be one of the best stories i've read in a long time. totally worth the purchase and highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2006

    Speech & Debate/ Dramatic Interpretation

    During the Winter Trophy speech & debate competition in Tucson, Arizona this weekend (December 2, 2006), I had the greatest honor of seeing a great actress from Arcadia perform an excerpt from this book. The scene was so full of dark humor and so dramatic that I believe this girl deserved billions of awards! It was great to see that acting is indeed not dead, and that even in the midst of all that is happening in the world, and the blind eye we turn to some things, it is nice to see someone reminding us of what living life is worth. Thank you!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    deep thought provoking and haunting tale

    The suicide attack killed a thousand attending the football game at Arsenal Stadium, but to the wife and mother of two victims, it is personal. Her grief has aged her and the video Osama made lauding those who killed the innocent upsets her further. --- The nameless widow decides to write a letter to Osama as her mourning gives her little comfort. Still her loss goes through the stages until she becomes angry that the government anticipated the attack, but did nothing to stop it. As her anger grows, she becomes a civilian working at Scotland Yard¿s antiterrorist unit where she learns a new strike is imminent, but it appears once again officialdom will do nothing. As she continues hermessage to Osama she believes now he is right that some people deserve to die as they are selfish but not everyone for instance why her innocent son. She now trusts no one especially not her government, the media, or her neighbor Christmas Eve has arrived with no hope or cheer for anyone. Yes Osama you are right. --- This is a deep thought provoking and haunting tale that will leave the audience stunned by the impact on the living by a terrorist act. The nameless protagonist comes across as an every-person whether they are a civilian victim in Iraq, the WTC, Madrid, or London. This talented author cleaves one through the soul of the audience that even when there are sprinkles of humor they turn the plot even more provocative. Not for the faint of heart, INCENDIARY is a powerful indictment of humanity. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Good

    I bought this in paperback and read it all in one night. It is a quick read but it is interesting thoight provoking and even a little funny in parts tho overall it is a sad story.
    I havent read any other books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Cant get anof!!

    Love it!!!

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    can't wait to read

    Really looking forward to reading after Little Bee.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011

    Great book and engaging story

    What a great book. I was completely engaged in this one and couldn't stop reading. An eye opener for sure. The story is something so many can relate with, unfortunately, but is completely fascinating and you keep wondering how the main character will move on. I highly recommend.

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    Posted September 9, 2010

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