William Boyd's Any Human Heart is one of my all time favourite books. I laughed and cried over this book and shoved it into the hands of many book-loving friends and watched them do the same. So, when I was in Ireland and saw that Ordinary Thunderstorms was already out in paperback (the book isn't released in Canada until February 2010), I picked it up. (And about 9 other books too.) I hate to say a book disappointed. But it did.
Maybe I'm not fully appreciative as the thriller as a genre, but this book seems to continue down the same path as Restless. It makes me wonder where Any Human Heart came from. Was it a fluke? What a beautiful fluke it was. I still remember the pain I suffered when Logan Mountstuart suffered. I felt none of that empathy for Adam Kindred, the hero of Ordinary Thunderstorms. I think that was my problem. I really didn't care what happened to Kindred. I only read on to sate my curiosity. But once I knew, I promptly forgot about him. And, surely, in any genre, that is a problem.
But, what about you? Is it important to you as a reader that you are able to get behind the hero of a book (even when he behaves idiotically?) Can a story survive for you without characters who reel you in? Is plot alone enough?