Thursday, April 05, 2012

Review: Incendiary

Incendiary by Chris Cleave

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the entire first section of Incendiary on the couch in my boyfriend's apartment in South Korea, but when I stopped reading that night I was almost startled not to be in my flat in Edinburgh, in a slowly gentrifying neighborhood where I'd often stop and have a smoke in the close with a ned who lived one floor down. The language and class analysis brought me right into the story. What took me out of it was that like Little Bee the ending was just ridiculous. There were slightly absurd plot points along the way, but I was able to roll with them right up to the scene in Parliament Square. The ending was frustratingly disappointing. That said, some of the book just slayed me. Having the narrator quote her son's age so precisely, so often was incredibly powerful. The attempt to fill the emptiness with sexual relationships. The desperate need to exert control on the things around her. I just wish Cleve would work on his endings.

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