Falling Man is a direct encounter with the enormous force of history, yet the story is told through the intimate lives of a few people immediately affected. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive.
©2007 Don DeLillo. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
"There have been a number of novels written in the past years about 9/11 that have attempted to come to grips with what that horrible day means to us. None of them are like this one....It's a testament to DeLillo's brilliant command of language that readers will feel once again, whether they want to or not, as scared and as sad as they felt that day." (Booklist)
"This novel is a return to DeLillo's best work. No other writer could encompass 9/11 quite like DeLillo does here....The writing has the intricacy and purpose of a wiring diagram....It is as if Players, The Names, Libra, White Noise, Underworld - with their toxic events, secret histories, moral panics - converge, in that day's narrative of systematic vulnerability, scatter and tentative regrouping." (Publishers Weekly)
"Falling Man brings at least a measure of memory, tenderness and meaning to all that howling space." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Since the planes" is the euphemism the main characters of this novel use to refer to the tragedy of 9/11. A fictional account of a survivor, his family, and their experiences following the devastation of the World Trade Center, this book is a clear-eyed look at the forces that led to the event, and at those that have shaped our collective consciousness since the tragedy. DeLillo makes no political points, and has no axes to grind. This story, like history itself, is ultimately a story of individual human beings, their choices, and the consequences that follow from those choices. An absorbing and chilling listen.
After reading a magazine review of this book, I was happy to find it already available on Audible. I listened to it over the course of 2 days and immediately listened to it again. There are many layers to this book, only the most obvious being the first-hand experience of the September 11 hijackings. The horror of those events is protrayed in the awestruck and stunned manner of those who were in New York on that day, but the underlying feelings are much more widespread and relect all our humanity. I experienced that day from thousands of miles and 4 time zones away, in my home in Alaska, but felt many of the same feelings that I found in this book. The simple act of looking at oneself in a mirror and comparing this view to that held by others who see us, the innocent simplicity of children's misunderstanding of the name of a terrorist and their fear of returning planes, and of course the inability to undo what happened, to have to remember it and view it repeatedly in the media are just some of the subjects covered simply but so well in this book. We have heard and read often that 9/11 was a day that changed all Americans: I think this simple yet complex and deep book captures many of the deep and human ways it changed us. I highly recommend this book as a reminder of our common feelings, whether we were on the streets of Lower Manhattan, the Interior of Alaska, or the many thousands of other places where Americans felt, and feel, the impact of that day.
This is a great book. Its basically less about 9/11 itself than it is about how an event like this affects (and doesn't affect) the people afterwords. Far from your typical "I was there" fictionalized account of being there. Very well narrated.
It's rather difficult following the dialog, since the narrator doesn't try to distinguish between voices. The narrator is also very flat, indifferen and numb-- I recommend actually reading the hard copy on this one, since the audio version doesn't seem to do it justice.
I literally had to press 'stop' on my ipod on several occasions just to think about what I just heard because of the beautiful language and construction. Listen to this for the writing alone.
I love audio books, fiction and nonfiction. I seem to be drawn to the Scandinavian writers and their narrators.
I have no idea if the book is good or not - it was the worst narration to which I have listened. There was no storytelling skill by the narrator. I expect different voices or inflections of voice or some way to discern the differences among the characters' speech, but there was none. Thus, I had trouble keeping track of who was saying what - the first time in countless audiobooks I have experienced. I would not recommend this audiobook.
As my professor who taught this book told our class, "This may not be the book about 9/11 you want, but it is the book you need". DeLillo is definitely an interesting writer and I have to say, after reading several of his books, I'm not really the biggest fan of his style. That being said, this is a very "real" book. It may be fictionalization, but it's certainly not a fairy tale, which is something people "need" in a book about 9/11. In terms of the audiobook, I thought the narrator did a pretty good job considering how hard DeLillo's dialogue can be to follow (and he was MUCH better than the narrator for "Libra").
I read a lot of criticism about the narrator but I think he uses a style appropriate to the text. Don DeLillo is one of the finest American writers and this is a short, deeply engaging, thoughtful book. If you want something that makes you think, where each sentence is a marvel, and if you can get used to his use of the word "this" when you were expecting "that", this is for you.
I Iike Don DeLillo lots, but could not enjoy this audiobook because narrator failed use voices nor other cues to indicate speaker in dialogs, forcing me rewind so often I gave-up half-way.
"the point is... invalidation," one of the characters says. Or something like that. That is the point of this book, alright.
This book is lots of thought, no wisdom.
Lots of mulling and self absorption and obsession. No passion. Just mindless repetition.
Is Delillo saying this is what happens when there's a major tragedy?
Is he saying that humanity has so little energy, so little humility, so little imagination, so little humor?
Yes. That's what he's saying.
Dust thou art to dust returnest. Is what he's saying.
I think the man's in need of an anti-depressant.
God, what a deadly group of characters.
No more Delillo for me.
"A modern classic - get there before the critcs."
So where were you? Well, I was in New York ? but not Manhattan, thankfully ? and experienced the panic and terror of the planes in the air over our heads, and got stuck there until 18th September getting home via Detroit on one of the first transatlantic flights out to a family I couldn?t call. And I was there again on the night they turned out the searchlights that shone up into the night sky and saw them from the top of the Empire State building. And since that time, I?ve avoided it all?news, films, documentaries, conspiracy theories?until this. Not at all what I expected. DeLillo places the Towers on stage left and concentrates on games of poker, interpersonal relationships, the details and for a time you feel the comfortable distance pierced by the universal truths that are laid down one card at a time?.and then it all comes back to you. The towers are rebuilt and populated with characters we know, the planes are peopled with dreams, beliefs and ideologies and you watch it all crash in words. We were all there on that day ? better to understand than to know, focus on the consequences rather than the emotions. A important book, a thrilling read, Hemingway for the millennium, 'broadband realism' we?ll call it ? when studied will become a classic text.
No story whatsoever. Could not hold my attention at all. Avoid! Maybe means more to Americans. Not for me. Poor.
"A moving meditation"
For a non-American this is an eye-opener into the impact of 9/11. It is a deeply moving account of post-traumatic adaptation, suffering, and cogitation. The central character continues to walk the wreckage of life in a way that steals your heart and mind. It makes you want to put your arms around the victims of calamity, but knowing that most of it is untouchable.
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