... 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
For Louis and Clemence
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?
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.
Listen to that noise Osama it is time for you to stop blowing the world apart. Come to me Osama. Come to me and we will blow the world back together WITH INCREDIBLE NOISE AND FURY.
A distraught woman writes a letter to Osama bin Laden after her four-year-old son and her husband are killed in a massive suicide bomb attack at a soccer match in London. In an emotionally raw voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, she tries to convince Osama to abandon his terror campaign by revealing to him the desperate sadness—“I am a woman built on the wreckage of myself”—and the broken heart of a working-class life blown apart.
But the bombing is only the beginning. While security measures transform London into a virtual occupied territory, the narrator, too, finds herself under siege. At first she gains strength by fighting back, taking a civilian job with the police to aid the antiterrorist effort. But when she becomes involved with an upper-class couple, she is drawn into a psychological maelstrom of guilt, ambition, and cynicism that erodes her faith in the society she’s working to defend. And when a new bomb threat sends the city into a deadly panic (“It was a panic like the darkest dream and the more people ran out onto the streets the bigger the panic got like a monster made of human beings”) she is pushed to acts of unfathomable desperation—perhaps her only chance for survival.
A surreal vision made brilliantly, viscerally powerful and undeniable, Incendiary is a stunning debut novel.
The author responded to the tragic events which took place in London on July 7, 2005. Visit his website to read this response, and participate in a forum on the book. (Link provided below.)
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:20 -0400)