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The Incendiaries

Narrated by: Keong Sim
Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

A powerful, darkly glittering novel about violence, love, faith and loss, as a young Korean American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea.

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet 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 increasingly drawn into a religious group--a secretive extremist cult - founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe's Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he's tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act.

The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.

©2018 R. O. Kwon (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"R. O. Kwon is the real deal." (Lauren Groff)

"Absolutely electric... Everyone should read this book." (Garth Greenwell) 

"Every explosive requires a fuse. That's R. O. Kwon's novel, a straight, slow-burning fuse." (Viet Thanh Nguyen)

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Good narration

Particularly liked the voice of this narrator. It suited the various strands of the novel and felt engaging throughout. Very well done!