Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ordinary Thunderstorms

Just finished Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd's latest novel. What a pleasure it is to read a good uncomplicated story, with an interesting cast of characters, and a fine sense of place. And one free from literary pretension and arty faffing about.

William Boyd can be relied upon for all this of course, we got it with Any Human Heart and Restless also. This story revolves around Adam Kindred's fall from grace through a chance meeting in London. It takes him from the cossetted world of hotels and credit cards and effortless living into a feral underworld of violence, dirt and hunger. Along the way we meet psychopathic hit men, corrupt pharmaceutical executives, and a randy police woman. We are also shown the London of council estates, begging and sleeping rough. It's a cautionary tale about how one slip can throw us back into the gutter. A tale for our times then.