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Incendiaire (2005)

par Chris Cleave

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
1,0536114,501 (3.76)88
When a woman's four-year-old son and husband are killed in a suicide bombing at a London soccer match, the woman writes a letter directly to Osama bin Laden to convince him to stop his attacks. The woman then takes a job helping the anti-terrorism effort, but outside her doors, the world feels like a war zone--and it pushes her to desperation.… (plus d'informations)
  1. 40
    Extrêmement fort et incroyablement près par Jonathan Safran Foer (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: Both books are good basis for "literature of terrorism."
  2. 21
    Et les hommes sont venus par Chris Cleave (Booksloth, Booksloth)
  3. 00
    L'Histoire de Pi par Yann Martel (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: Both are graphic stories about (in part) how people deal with trauma. Narrative style is also similar.
  4. 00
    Loving Frank par Nancy Horan (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both books have as their protagonist a mother who is unlikeable, yet very sympathetic.
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» Voir aussi les 88 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 61 (suivant | tout afficher)
This story borders on dystopian fiction, although of course the devastating event was potentially all too real.
The narrative voice is a woman from the East End in London. She is writing a letter to Osama Bin Laden, trying to make sense of the shocking death of her husband and son at an Arsenal versus Chelsea football match. A group of suicide bombers manage to kill over a thousand people putting London into a state of high alert. At the time of the attack, she is having sex with a neighbour, Jasper Black, and her feelings of guilt add to her grief. She persuades Jasper to drive her to the stadium to help her search and there she becomes embroiled in the chaos and suffers serious injuries. After 2 months in hospital she is discharged her only visitor having been Jasper. She becomes involved in the lives of he and his partner Petra, they are both newspaper journalists.
Her deceased husband was a police officer, a member of the Bomb Squad. She confronts his boss and garners herself a job as his administration assistant. They commence an affair which comes to an abrupt end when he makes a shocking confession. This is a terrifying tale which looks at the class system and politics in England through a cynical eye. I found myself returning to this disquieting tale in the hope that justice and peace would prevail. ( )
  HelenBaker | Feb 14, 2021 |
The movie. A waste of Ewan McGregor, I wish he'd had a larger role. Michelle is always great, but the movie... and Matthew MacFayden wasn't well cast. ( )
  Okies | Sep 3, 2020 |
After reading Little Bee by Mr. Cleave, I was anxious to read Incendiary. I was not disappointed.

An unnamed English woman writes a novel-length letter to Osama bin Laden because he is responsible for a terrorist attack at a soccer stadium in London. Her husband and 4-year-old son are among the 1,000 who die.

This novel deals with what happens to this mother and other survivors of such an attack. She is very much alone and refuses help to get through this ordeal. She allows others to take advantage of her without thinking of the consequences. She feels guilty about the deaths of her husband and son because while they were at the game, she was at home having sex with a neighbor she barely knew. Her morals are questionable, but she seems realistic trying to deal with the aftermath of the bombing. There are many touching moments that will make you sad, but since the author is English, there are many humorous moments due to the English sense of humor.

I wouldn't call this novel fast-paced, but it does move forward. I didn't want to put it down. I am looking forward to reading more from Mr. Cleave. ( )
  pegmcdaniel | Aug 24, 2020 |
Chris Cleave has imagined a similar scenario occurring in London. The story is narrated by a young English woman who recounts her story to “Dear Osama”. Cleave writes a vivid and compelling drama that is unfortunately only too easy to imagine. ( )
  Mercef | Jul 5, 2020 |
Incendiary is the second book I've read by Chris Cleave. I didn't feel it came up to Little Bee, but it is still a very good read. I listened to the audio version which was narrated perfectly by Tracy-Ann Oberman.

This is the story of a working class woman living in London, who suffers a horrible tragedy, then tries to cope. The novel is written in the form of a long letter to Osama bin Laden. Normally, a novel written in the form of letters is called epistolary, but this book deviates from the letter form by including so much description and dialogue that I wouldn't use that term.

The narrator is a brash and imperfect woman, but described in a way that brings the reader into her world enough to create sympathy for her. Here's what she says about herself early on:

I was what The Sun would call a “dirty love cheat.” My husband and my boy never found out, oh thank you, God. I can say it now they're both dead. I don't care who reads it. It can't hurt them anymore. I loved my boy. And I loved my husband...Sex is not a beautiful and perfect thing for me, Osama. It is a condition caused by nerves.

Sex helps her deal with life's problems prior to the tragedy, but afterwards, it isn't enough.

I had a problem with the novel's ending and I also felt there were some conflicts in the way the narrator perceived reality that weren't sufficiently explained by her state of mind. Still, this is a good book. It captured me and I felt it painted a full picture of a young mother who at first was trying to build a life that was a shelter, a place of love. Here's how she described a part of that place.

Our boy had his own room it was cracking we were proud of it. My husband built his bed in the shape of Bob the Builder's dump truck and I sewed the curtains and we did the painting together. In the night my boy's room smelled of boy. Boy is a good smell it is a cross between angels and tigers.

Her own imperfections along with the horrors of life in the 21st century pushed tragedy into her world. This novel is about what happens after that.

Steve Lindahl – author of Hopatcong Vision Quest, White Horse Regressions, and Motherless Soul ( )
  SteveLindahl | Dec 25, 2017 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 61 (suivant | tout afficher)
Chris Cleave's first novel, Incendiary , the powerful story of a suicide bomb attack at a London soccer stadium, hit British bookstores the same day terrorist bombs splintered the city's morning rush hour, killing more than 50 people.
 
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... a most terrible fire broke out, which... not only wasted the adjacent parts, but also places very remote, with incredible noise and fury. - inscription on the Monument to the Great Fire of London, north side
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Dear Osama, they want you dead or alive so the terror will stop. Well I wouldn't know about that I mean rock 'n' roll didn't stop when Elvis died on the khazi it just got worse. Next thing you know there was Sonny & Cher and Dexys Midnight Runners. I'll come to them later. My point is it's easier to start these things than to finish them. I suppose you thought of that did you?
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London is a city built on the wreckage of itself Osama. It's had more comebacks than The Evil Dead. It's been flattened by storms and flooded out and rotted with plague. Londoners just took a deep breath and put the kettle on. Then the whole thing burned down. Every last stick of it. I remember my mum took me to see the Monument to the Great Fire. London burned WITH INCREDIBLE NOISE AND FURY is what the monument has written on it. People thought it was the end of the world. But Londoners got up the next day and the world hadn't ended so they rebuilt the city in 3 years stronger and taller. Even Hitler couldn't finish us though he set the whole of the East End on fire.
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When a woman's four-year-old son and husband are killed in a suicide bombing at a London soccer match, the woman writes a letter directly to Osama bin Laden to convince him to stop his attacks. The woman then takes a job helping the anti-terrorism effort, but outside her doors, the world feels like a war zone--and it pushes her to desperation.

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