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Publisher's Summary

Chris Cleave’s debut novel Incendiary - winner of the Book-of-the-Month Club’s First Fiction Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize - is sure to captivate the same people who made Little Bee one of the most talked-about novels of the last decade.

Written as an open letter to Osama bin Laden from a distraught woman whose husband and son were killed in a massive suicide bombing, Incendiary was published in the UK on July 7, 2005 - eerily, the day of the London underground bombings. It went on to win the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award; was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; won the United States’ Book-of-the-Month Club’s First Fiction Award; and won the Prix Special du Jury at the French Prix des Lecteurs 2007.

©2010 Chris Cleave (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

"Cleave has achieved something rare.... [The narrator] will break your heart and remind you how, in the face of the uncontrollable and the inexplicable, humor can allow one to survive." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
"An audacious, provocative voice.... [Cleave] has a clear and disturbing vision of the psychological effects of an attack on a city population." ( The New York Times Book Review)
“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.” ( The Economist)

What listeners say about Incendiary

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A perfect title!

I fell in love with Cleave's writing when listening to "Everyone Brave is Forgiven". It was an "MP3 & available now" book from my public library. So it was serendipity rather than choice. I have been recommending it to all my reader friends. "Incendiary" is not for the faint-of-heart, you have to be as forgiving and secure as the teller of the tale. Cleave's writing is amazing! This open letter to Osama is full of little details of everyday life, pain, humor, and love in the midst of the horror of terrorism and trauma. Tracy-Ann Oberman should get more than 5 stars for her remarkable narration. She made the book come alive. Her rapid and gifted switch from character to character floored me!

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A widow writes to Bin Laden

Rich with historical detail regarding Japan and Korea in the early 1900s. This well-researched story follows a part of history that I knew almost nothing about. Part love story, part the story of immigrants struggling to survive, Pachinko follows a poor fisherman's daughter - her affair and subsequent pregnancy with a rich Japanese man; her refusal to take his money and her marriage to a poor, sickly minister with whom she moves to Japan. In Japan they encounter prejudice against and mistreatment of Korean immigrants. But turning her back on such a rich and powerful man in Japan has its consequences. Following four generations the story has a lot of jumps in time and jumps among characters that often made it confusing and hard to follow.
Pachinko is a National Book Award finalist; for me, It was too long with too many details. I get frustrated when I need to reread pages because the jumps are too wide or the thread is too thin. "If history so often fails to represent all of us, it is not because historians are not interested, but because historians often lack the primary documents of so-called minor characters in history." ⭐️⭐️⭐️🎧 #audiobook
For more book reviews see my Instagram book blog #emptynestreader or follow me on Goodreads
#pachinko #minjinlee #grandcentralpublishing #historicalfiction #korea #japan #bookstagramalabama #bookstagrammichigan #readalittlelearnalittlelivealittle

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WOW

Would you consider the audio edition of Incendiary to be better than the print version?

Hearing this story told with the perfect British accent makes a great story, that much better.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Incendiary?

Waking up holding hands with Petra

Any additional comments?

Amazing story. I want more.