Saturday, January 14, 2012

Table of Contents: Falling Man

Author: Don DeLillo
Publisher/Year: Scribner, 2007
Synopsis: Falling Man is a magnificent, essential novel about the event that defines turn-of-the-century America. It begins in the smoke and ash of the burning towers and tracks the aftermath of this global tremor in the intimate lives of a few people.

First there is Keith, walking out of the rubble into a life that he’d always imagined belonged to everyone but him. Then Lianne, his estranged wife, memory-haunted, trying to reconcile two versions of the same shadowy man. And their small son Justin, standing at the window, scanning the sky for more planes.
These are lives choreographed by loss, grief, and the enormous force of history.

The New York Times
"...the falling men and women tumble before the reader with no safety harness, no net of simile or irony, nothing to break their fall. It is not performance art but the real thing, and it brings at least a measure of memory, tenderness and meaning to all that howling space."

The Guardian
"DeLillo, I would say, believes the world evolves through set pieces. Yet much of Falling Man feels like an attempt to avoid turning 9/11 into a set piece - as if that would be in some way distasteful. But, in the end, thank goodness, he succumbs."

"DeLillo is a master of the prose riff, and there are a few riffs in here as good as anything he’s ever produced: a description of the immediate aftermath of the towers’ collapse from the viewpoint of a man fleeing the World Trade Center, three chapters told from the perspective of one of the hijackers, and a final section that depicts, with almost inhuman perfection, the attacks themselves. For these passages alone, the book is worth reading."

Kirkus Reviews
"You’ll scarcely be able to draw a breath throughout its lucid, overpowering climactic pages."

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