Book review: Incendiary by Chris Cleave

I finished this book on Thursday and sat down to write my review, but couldn’t inciendarycome up with anything other than wow. Written from the perspective of a woman who has lost her ‘chaps’ – her husband and son – in a fictional terrorist attack in London, Incendiary hits you in the face with emotion from the first line.

Dear Osama they want you dead or alive so the terror will stop.’

This is one of those books that I found myself reading until 4am every night, despite facing a 9am start the next day. One of those books that I would steal a few minutes from my day just to read 5 pages of. A book that was so convincing and realistic that I had a moment of stupidity and had to run a quick Google search to make sure the terrorist attack didn’t actually happen, and I had just missed it.

I was both impressed and irritated by the use of the word ‘of’ instead of ‘have’. On one hand, it was an amazing, simple way to convey the voice of the narrator, especially when other characters used ‘have’ correctly. Still, the English student in me immediately felt annoyed by it.

This didn’t detract from the book. Overall, it was harrowing, fascinating and sometimes funny.

I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

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2 thoughts on “Book review: Incendiary by Chris Cleave

  1. Yay, more books to read! Will you do me a MASSIVE favor and have a look at We Need To Talk About Kevin? It’s mind blowing to the point that you need to putt cotton wool in your ears to stop your brain from coming out.

  2. I have a confession: I didn’t like We Need To Talk About Kevin that much.

    I’M A FREAK, I KNOW! The premise of the story was fascinating, awful, and horrifying (all very good things in my eyes) but I didn’t think very much to the way it was executed. The narrator’s incessant rambling about her travel writing really irritated me. I know it was intentional to show what kind of person she was, but I still didn’t like it :\

    That said, I read it in about four days flat and did feel a bit shell-shocked afterwards so I get what you mean.

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