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Extended Audio Sample Incendiary: A Novel, by Chris Cleave Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,825 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Cleave Narrator: Tracy-Ann Oberman Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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I am a woman built upon the wreckage of myself.

When a massive suicide bomb explodes at a London soccer match, a woman loses both her four-year-old son and her husband. But the bombing is only the beginning.

In an emotionally raw voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, the woman mourns the loss of her husband and son at the hands of one of history’s most notorious criminals. And in appealing to their executioner, she reveals the desperate sadness of a broken heart and a working-class life blown apart by terror.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An audacious, provocative voice…[Cleave] has a clear and disturbing vision of the psychological effects of an attack on a city population.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Incendiary suggests that even amid the rubble of a terrorist attack, we can gain a glimpse of hope for a better future, stay open to hidden gifts in one’s life, and perhaps even discover that we are capable of forgiveness of our own fragility and carelessness as well as that of others.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Fiction can be a highly effective way of depicting terror…because fine writing—and Incendiary is a very fine example—is such an eloquent human instrument.”

    Economist

  • “Sensitive, artful, and deft…Cleave’s Orwellian look at the way we live is hyper-realistic, his narrator true to the point where one can almost hear her ragged breathing, smell the gin and tears on her breath…A near-perfect debut that will give the reader nightmares that may seem far too real on waking.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Cleave…has a phenomenal talent for melodrama, a dishy, vicious sense of humor, and a sprinter’s force as a writer.”

    New York Observer

  • Winner of the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
  • Selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jonelle | 2/18/2014

    " It's hard to know how to classify this book. Written in the form of a letter to Osama Bin Laden, it tells the story of how a British working-class woman who loses her son and husband in a terrorist bombing deals with her grief and the madness of society around her. Typically, someone like that would be portrayed as a saint, but she is a real human being, flaws and all. While the story does have some flashes of humor, in all, it is grief-ridden book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Regan | 1/11/2014

    " A little too all over the place. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Brittany | 12/25/2013

    " Cleave blew me away with his recent novel, Little Bee. I was excited to read the older Incendiary, yet I was deeply disappointed and disgusted. Yes, I finished the entire novel but only because I kept hoping that it was going to turn around and improve. It did not. With a promising beginning, I was immediately intrigued with the heroine of the story writing a letter to Osama Bin Laden blaming him for the deaths of her husband and son in a terrorist attack at a soccer match. However, as it went on, I became less and less thrilled with this woman who was cheating on her husband while he was being killed and then loses her grip on reality and life. This was the biggest sob story I have ever read with the most ridciulous characters and scenarios... I cannot begin to describe, and I won't. All I can do is urge other readers to not even try with this one. I wasted a a couple weeks on this... not because I'm a slow reader but because it was so miserable to read. Cleaves, I was really let down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Robert Day | 12/14/2013

    " Yeah, terrorism, yeah, good way to approach the subject, yeah, well written. Just not really my cup of tea. "

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