The Incendiaries

The Incendiaries

Book - 2018
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In this "novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, ... a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea"
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2018.
ISBN: 9780735213890
Characteristics: 214 pages ; 22 cm


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May 19, 2019

For a book to resonate with me, I need characters with whom I can make a connection. I don’t want them to be like me, but I have to car about them. I never could care about any of the characters in this story which takes place on a private college campus. Mainly told by the boyfriend of the central character, Phoebe, I just kept wanting to tell him to move on with his life or in other words to GROW UP.

Mar 15, 2019

New & Notable BC - April 2018

Jan 10, 2019

Like the previous commentator, I too wanted to like Korean-born, American-based R.O. Kwon's debut novel. I'd read good things about it and was really looking forward to reading it. It'd be one thing if it were merely bad, but it has good elements and themes and an interesting point of view, but. . .it just never comes together. There's a love story, religious fanaticism, cults, and terrorism and none of them really cohere. Still, there's enough in here to make it worth at least a quick read and she does seem like a young writer worth watching.

Dec 14, 2018

I really wanted to like this, but it is in many ways a cheap knockoff of Donna Tartt's much better novel - The Secret History. It has plenty of literary flourishes to keep critics happy, but at its core it is duplicative and shallow, grazing the surface of its characters and moving on to the next shiny thing.

Nov 14, 2018

I was not impressed by this, I found the plot really slow and the characters unrelatable, and I just wasn't into it.

Nov 01, 2018

Empty boring college age folks doing empty boring college age things.
Book is short and the writing moves it along.
However, the characters are not really interesting and at page 100 after many tedious activities (i.e. went to Cape Cod, went to China, went to New York City, confessed ) I put the book down.

Aug 06, 2018

I don't know where the reviewers got all their detailed information from. This is literary fiction at its most irritating and frustrating.
It’s all nonsense.
I suppose they want you to be sucked into the strange, empty white space where more words belong and feel like you’re in a fog, searching without end for answers in a disconcerting story that rambles and switches gears over and over. I've read books that explore similar themes without romanticizing it to the point of being unreadable, weird and wonderful novels that actually DO have dazzling prose that isn't described as such just because the sentences are chopped to bits.

Pass on this one and ask me if you want a novel that will feel strange and wonderful instead of just confusing.


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