Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Armchair Novel Review - Incendiary by Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave
Trade paperback, 256 pages
also available as an ebook

It is hard to know where to begin with this review.

The book is a work of fiction and is a letter to Osama bin Laden recounting the experiences of a lower middle class London wife and mother after a terrorist attack where she lives.

This alone wouldn't have gotten me to read the book, for the very same reason I try not to watch the news for too long - in fact it was the urging of a friend that prompted me to read it and I am very glad I did.

Chris Cleave manages to write an engaging train-wreck of a book - hilarious at times, excruciating at others - I admit to having to jump up and do random chores just to surface before running back to the book for more.

The entire novel is written in the voice of the woman affected by the insanity of her situation and of the people who surround her, and it is one of the most original books I have ever read.

Really, it defies explanation - go ahead and read it for yourself and let me know what you think.