Two words: lousy timing

Chris Cairns’ (sorry, it’s just me; they mention “football”, I think cricket) Cleave’s Incendiary, about a suicide bombing attack on a football stadium in London, came out the same day the London bombings happened.
From The Globe and Mail:
“Yesterday, Cleave set up a website ( asking readers about the novel, which is basically a letter to Osama bin Laden by a London woman who loses her husband and child to a fictitious terrorist attack at an Arsenal soccer game. “Is it disrespectful to the families of the victims for me to keep endorsing it? Or would it be a greater disrespect if I didn’t?”
From The Guardian:
“Is this really the moment to bring out a book which begins “Dear Osama …”? Or indeed any book which features a major terrorist blast in London? At least one major bookselling chain thinks not, as Waterstone’s announced that it was pulling all national advertising for Chris Cleave’s debut, which hypothesises the effect of an al-Qaida attack at Arsenal’s new stadium. To add to the air of macabre coincidence, the book was scheduled for release on July 7.”
And David Crozier says:
“Incendiary is a sad, funny, chilling novel which brings home how the victims of senseless tragedy feel. But perhaps now isn’t quite the right time to read it.”
I feel for the author. Go cheer him up at his website.


  1. At the risk of sounding heartless — why should the author have to pay the price of bad timing on the multiverse’s part? Is there ever a good time to have a terrorist bomb go off in your vicinity, or indeed, to have to write about it meaningfully? Read and be damned says I…P.S. I dunno if you mean to do it — but Dalrymple’s name is still mis-spelt:) Fitting actually, na?

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