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Publisher's Summary

Adam Kindred, visiting London for a job interview, comes across a little Italian bistro as he walks along the Embankment, admiring the views. During his meal he strikes up a conversation with a diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterwards.

With horrifying speed, Adam's encounter leads to a series of accidents through which he will lose everything.

©2009 William Boyd; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • L. Fuchs
  • 09-24-09

A wonderful book, beautifully read.

I love William Boyd's previous work, most notably Any Human Heart, and I eagerly anticipate any new publications. His latest, Ordinary Thunderstorms, did not disappoint. The book tells the story a young scientist whose chance encounter with a stranger leads to his rapid and decline and fall. Indeed, the main plot-line of 'ordinary bloke propelled into a nightmare' had echoes for me of Waugh's Decline & Fall, Buchan's 39 Steps and Hitchcock's North By Northwest. Besides the thriller plot, the book takes us on a socio-economic ride through the social strata of the UK today. Boyd's cast of characters, worthy of Dickens or Waugh, are all made flesh by Boyd's deftly handled pen and the acting talents of narrator, Martyn Ellis. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Helmac
  • 06-03-16

Comment from a William Boyd fan

A gripping tale but it was too drawn out by constant and unnecessary repetition. The reading was marred by very phoney accents and, in particular, the Scottish doctor.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mrs G
  • 11-20-09

Ordinary Thunderstorms, Boyd, W,

I completely agree with other reviewers - well constructed, well written and excellently read story which party reminded me of Le Care's Constant Gardener. Once started to listen to it, I found difficult to stop and the end came surprisingly fast. Is it only me, but I found the end missing? This is why 4/5 for rate. Or is there a second part of Ordinary Thunderstorms?

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Grace
  • 10-19-09

A good story, not sure about the reader

This is the first experience of William Boyd. I don't normally read thrillers, but got really drawn into this book, and, once I'd accepted the slightly unlikely course of action the main character takes at the start, I thought the story hung together really nicely, and kept you interested all the way through. The only thing that really spoiled it for me was the reader - he has a rather sad and weedy voice, not suited to this dynamic story, and has a limited range of quite unconvincing character voices; the two female protagonists in particular sounded very similar to me.
Overall though, I would definitely recommend this book.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenny Hodgkins
  • 04-21-16

Brilliant

Love the characters and story keeps you wanting to know what happens next, made be think about fate and you never know what may be just round the corner.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Maggie
  • 05-06-15

Beware chance meetings....

Where does Ordinary Thunderstorms rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It ranks fairly high. I found excuses to do things like walk the dog, do the weeding and even iron so that I could continue listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ordinary Thunderstorms?

There were many.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, except for the accent of the narrator. Garage, pronounced 'garridge' is one of my pet hates and jarred very annoyingly in his narrative and citation.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely - see above.

Any additional comments?

As you can tell by the 'garridge' remark above, I a something of a pedant and it was a joy to hear cupsful rather than cupfulls and a distinct lack of split infinitives. I find William Boyd an exraordinary writer; all his books are so different but highly engaging and beautifully written.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • 10-18-09

Not vintage Boyd but very good

William Boyd has written some great books. This is a very good thriller. As an exploration of desparate descent it works, but some of the coincidences are a little too convenient to be convincing. But the overall experience is exciting and the characters are rounded, which just made me wish he'd finished the story more conclusively.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kirstine
  • 10-05-09

Beginning and ending not as good as the rest

At first I thought I wasn't going to enjoy this book as the whole roller-coaster of a story depends on an intelligent and well-educated man making a stupid and unrealistic decision. However, once I got into the tale of how he manages to live outside society and evade the powers that be I was hooked and wanted to know more. I had to grit my teeth a bit at some of the "facts" about how new drugs get investigated and approved by regulatory bodies, as I've carried out such trials, but wasn't surprised by the skull-duggery attributed to drug companies. I was surprised by the ending of the book: are we being left hanging for a sequel?
The reader of the book was excellent.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip
  • 06-03-16

Great but missed the climax

Love Boyds's writing , great story, edge of seat stuff but does rather peter out, as with others. However, still highly recommended and superior to most other thrillers of all genres

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Dawn
  • 02-15-16

Overall enjoyable but ending weak

Being familiar with London, I enjoyed understanding another aspect of the city.
I enjoyed the characters and found the narrator good.

The storyline seemed to rush to an end and left too many questions unanswered.
The critique of the Pharmacuetical clinical trials process was sadly plausible.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 03-06-17

The perfect murder

What a story! Such an unexpected start and the even but realistic continuation is what makes the listener reluctant to take a break. The narrator did an exceptional job considering the different accents that were needed. I hope you pay him well , he is a keeper 😁😁😁