• The Incendiaries

  • A Novel
  • By: R. O. Kwon
  • Narrated by: Keong Sim
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (333 ratings)

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The Incendiaries  By  cover art

The Incendiaries

By: R. O. Kwon
Narrated by: Keong Sim
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Publisher's summary

Now a National Best Seller

"Religion, politics, and love collide in this slim but powerful novel reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, with menace and mystery lurking in every corner." (People Magazine)

"The most buzzed-about debut of the summer, as it should be...unusual and enticing... The Incendiaries arrives at precisely the right moment." (The Washington Post)

"Radiant... A dark, absorbing story of how first love can be as intoxicating and dangerous as religious fundamentalism." (New York Times Book Review)

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult's acts of terrorism.

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet in their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe.

Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is drawn into a secretive cult founded by a charismatic former student with an enigmatic past. When the group commits a violent act in the name of faith, Will finds himself struggling to confront a new version of the fanaticism he's worked so hard to escape.

Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.

©2018 R. O. Kwon (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“A singular version of the campus novel...a story about spiritual uncertainty and about the fierce and undisciplined desire of [Kwon’s] young characters to find something luminous to light their way through their lives.” (NPR’s Fresh Air)

“Certain literary circles have been buzzing about R.O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries for months. And this slim, intense novel is the rare book that lives up to its pre-publication hype.” (Los Angeles Times)

“[With] a fairy-tale quality reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History...[The Incendiaries is] the rare depiction of belief that doesn’t kill the thing it aspires to by trying too hard. It makes a space, and then steps away to let the mystery in.” (The New Yorker)

“Disarmingly propulsive.” (Vogue)