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Ordinary thunderstorms by William Boyd

Ordinary thunderstorms (original 2009; edition 2009)

by William Boyd

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1,002658,537 (3.51)110
Title:Ordinary thunderstorms
Authors:William Boyd
Info:London : Bloomsbury, 2009.
Collections:Your library

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Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd (2009)


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English (59)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All (65)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
There are some novels I read as a substitute for TV and for pure entertainment value. These include mysteries and some science-fiction. Ordinary Thunderstorms does not fit into either of these genres, but it is a novel to be read for pure entertainment value. It's not great literature, there are no deep revelations, no grand ideas, but it is well-written, highly readable and has an engaging story. It sucked me in, immersed me in its world for a while, and then let me off, not a better or more informed person, but a satisfied reader.

The story begins as Adam, a climatology scientist, has just completed a job interview which he believes has gone extremely well. To celebrate, he treats himself to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Chelsea. In the restaurant he exchanges pleasantries with another solo diner, during which he learns that the other man is also a research scientist. After the other man leaves, Adam notices that he left some papers behind, and Adam decides to return them (he had been given the man's phone number). This was a big mistake, and Adam soon finds himself on the run from both the police, who want to charge him with murder, and from a hulking giant who wants to kill him. Adam goes underground, and must learn to leave without cash, credit cards, housing and readily available food. The story of Adam's survival on the streets as a homeless person is interesting enough, but at the same time Adam also must make sense of what has happened to him. This all makes the book a page turner.

There is a small plot point at the end of the book that I was really annoyed by, so I was thinking of taking 1/2 star off, but since this didn't affect my enjoyment of the book until the very end I'm leaving my rating at 3 stars. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 18, 2017 |
I liked this book, but I didn't love how craft-like it felt. I have trouble with over-plotted books, and although I appreciated how he provided a reason for all the actions (and reactions) I got tired of seeing that happen in the book. Plus, what a missed opportunity, with "Ordinary Thunderstorms" as the title and a main character who studied clouds for a living I expected that science would play a bigger role. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
I would not normally read a book like this but it was set by my reading group. William Boyd is not a favourite of mine. His writing style annoys me. I did find the book intriguing and kept on reading to find out what happened. The plot was very contrived and the "crooks" among the characters very stereotyped. ( )
  lesleynicol | May 2, 2016 |
Boyd is a favorite and this one is an exciting _Wrong Man_-like thriller set in London. A large pharmaceutical company is the lurking malevolence chasing our leading man along with the police. The Thames River and some of London’s darker denizens add verisimilitude to this adventure that is set off by a random chance encounter. Who are we (and what do we become) when we are forced give up modern life’s high-tech luxuries and live off the grid? Cinematic to the max and yet thought provoking. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I liked the writing, the plot implausible, premise might have been interesting, but far-fetched. I might read Restless, to give the author another look. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
That's what I thought when I finished it. I thought, "It's not the way a thriller writer would do it." But I thought fair dos, he's trying to do something different. It's not something that I would necessarily criticise him for.
This is an uneven novel. Yet Boyd’s restless inventiveness sustained me throughout and the ending proved satisfying, not least because Boyd doesn’t resolve the plot fully. He lets some stories flow beyond the last page, like the Thames.
added by Shortride | editBloomberg, James Pressley (Sep 25, 2009)
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Ordinary thunderstorms have the capacity to transform themselves into multi-cell storms of ever growing complexity. Such multi-cell storms display a marked increase in severity and their lifetime can be extended by a factor of ten or more. The grandfather of all thunderstorms, however, is the super-cell thunderstorm. It should be noted that even ordinary thunderstorms are capable of mutating into super-cell storms. These storms subside very slowly.
--Storm Dynamics and Hail Cascades
by L. D. Sax and W. S. Dutton
For Susan
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Let us start with the river - all things begin with the river and we shall probably end there, no doubt - but let's wait and see how we go.
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Book description
One May evening in London, Adam Kindred, a young climatologist in town for a job interview, is feeling good about the future as he sits down for a meal at a little Italian bistro. He strikes up a conversation with a solitary diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterward. With horrifying speed, this chance encounter leads to a series of malign accidents, through which Adam loses everything—home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, credit cards, cell phone—never to get them back.

The police are searching for him. There is a reward for his capture. A hired killer is stalking him. He is alone and anonymous in a huge, pitiless modern city. Adam has nowhere to go but down—underground. He decides to join that vast army of the disappeared and the missing who throng London’s lowest levels as he tries to figure out what to do with his life and struggles to understand the forces that have made it unravel so spectacularly. Adam’s quest will take him all along the river Thames, from affluent Chelsea to the gritty East End, and on the way he will encounter all manner of London’s denizens—aristocrats, prostitutes, evangelists, and policewomen—and version after new version of himself.
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Adam Kindred is in London for a job interview and looking at a bright future. Then he has a chance meeting in a restaurant that results in a series of actions that cost him his family, his money, his very identity. Utterly alone, Adam joins London's underground society of dispossessed and tries to figure out what happened to his life.… (more)

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Average: (3.51)
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