An intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his 20-year old son....
Audrina fiercely desired to be as good as her sister. She knew her father could not love her as he loved that other girl, for her sister was so special, so perfect - and dead....
Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search....
With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town....
Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk desperately trying to get promoted when he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman....
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat....
It begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where everything seems picture perfect. Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party....
Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family....
Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher....
In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son's red coat was fished out of the River Ouse....
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years.....
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind....
A riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives....
When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station or at home cooking dinner. But what she finds is entirely different....
When Autumn stumbles upon the social media account of the family who adopted her infant daughter years ago, she finds herself drawn into their picture-perfect existence....
Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they'd become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids....
When Craigslist prostitute Shannan Gilbert went missing, police paid little attention. Until seven months later, when four bodies were found nearby - none of them Shannan's....
She used to work for the US government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name....
From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.
On a foggy summer night, 11 people - 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter - depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later the unthinkable happens: The plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs - the painter - and a four-year-old boy who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.
With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members - including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot - the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.
Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
Finished this 1 minute ago and loved it so much I was motivated to jump right to writing a review. I have discovered my favorite narrator. It doesn't matter who is doing the "talking," he does them all: men, women, and children. I "lived" this book through Robert Petkoff. Whatever the award (given to audio book narration) is - he deserves it. I can't think of anyone on any Audible I've listened to where I've felt this way - he is phenomenal. I won't recap the story since I'm sure you've read the book summary. The mystery, while not the main thrust of the story, remains a mystery until fairly late in the book. Even though I pretty much surmised what happened (probably about when the author wanted the reader to) I was riveted right to the end. I chose the book based solely on the fact Noah Hawley wrote many of the scripts for "Fargo" (the TV series) Season 1 - and I loved Season 1. The story does a great job of chronicling the lives of the rich (yep, they are different), gas bag political TV news as well as what makes people tick. He even does a great job getting into the minds of his female characters, so much so I think he must have had input from his wife, girlfriend...somebody female. Impossible for me to say if I would have loved the book as much if a different narrator had done it. What I can say is I will definitely be looking for other books by him.
139 of 153 people found this review helpful
I read "Before the Fall" and liked it enough to buy the Audible version. This is a novel that went from good to great with a professional narrator. Robert Petkoff read smoothly, consistently, and confidently. He was clearly comfortable telling this story.
This is the story of a plane that goes down in the ocean. There are survivors, but the story is not just about the survivors. Hawley weaves back and forth as he tells his story, revealing slices of life from each passenger's past while maintaining forward momentum with the story of the survivors.
"Before the Fall" is about a man and a boy who are forced to leave their past and the people they love behind, and coming to terms with the realization that the past can never be entirely left behind.
77 of 86 people found this review helpful
I loved this book as an experience, and looked forward to every possible chance to listen. It made me feel like I was on vacation even though I was commuting long distances to work every day. The narrative structure is ingenious in the way the author goes back and forth in time between the present (the lone adult survivor dealing with survivor guilt, the guardian of the child he saved, and associated others, including a thinly-veiled Bill O'Reilly-based character leading the Fox-newsish media circus) and the past (the individuals killed in the crash, and what they were doing and thinking in the days, hours and minutes before the crash). I especially loved the surprise ending, although unfortunately I slightly spoiled the surprise for myself by buying the print version and looking ahead at chapter titles, wanting to see which character's chapter would be last, believing that whichever character was profiled last would turn out to be the one most directly tied to the crash.
Only a few caveats: First, the narrator is less than fully stellar, occasionally betraying a lack of familiarity with the material with a mispronounced word or a false start using the voice of a character other than the one who is supposed to be speaking. Second, I'm no prude, but at times some of the more vulgar language felt gratuitous to me, almost as if the author threw it in to ensure an R rating, in the mistaken belief that mature readers wouldn't want to read PG-13 material. Readers offended by foul language may want to avoid this book. Lastly, though I'm in awe of the writer's achievement as a whole, it's not great literature by any means; this is not gorgeously wrought prose. There were times when a particularly clunky line ("He f***ed him with his eyes"; "She was out painting the town red with menstrual blood") made me roll my eyes.
Bechdel test: Uh-oh! I'm pretty sure this book fails. There are several named female characters, and a couple of times they do converse, but I just looked back at my print copy, and it appears that every one of their conversations is about a man, at least tangentially. Also, two out of three of the adult females killed in the crash are the only two victims without their own chapters. 😒
68 of 77 people found this review helpful
Interesting book. Plane goes down in water shortly after it takes off. Nine known people on board but the only survivors are a forty something year old artist and a four year old. Miles from shore the artist a former long distance swimmer is able to swim to shore with the boy on a flotation cushion. The boys father (a media mogul) was worth over $100m and so the suspicions begin. One employee on a news show begins stalking the artist and publicly accusing him of somehow being responsible for the plane crash, as if he would crash to plane he himself was on! How would he know that he would survive?
As the book continues it examines the life of each of the passengers in detail. The media mogul and his wife, the banker who launders money for terrorist countries and is under investigation and his wife, the employees on the plane and the artist.
I wouldn't exactly call this a thriller. It is somewhat of a mystery as throughout the book you are lead in different directions as to why this plane literally fell out of the sky. Was it bombed or tampered with? Or was it simply an accident ? Or was this a purposeful act by someone on the plane?
The author fleshes out every single character, some from childhood right up to the time of their death. And then the plane crash and then THE END. It's not that the end was bad, it's that after all this build up it is very anticlimactic and abrupt.
Robert Petkoff does a fantastic job narrating this book.
I purchased this book on sale for $4.95 and for that price I would recommend purchasing it. If you read this review right after it is written (9/16/17) I believe this will be on sale for another few days.
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10 of 11 people found this review helpful
I bought and listened to this book based on a rave review in the NY Times by Janet Maslin; now I wonder if she and other reviewers were prejudiced to like this book because of the author's wonderful work in tv's "Fargo". The most dramatic event happens in the beginning of the book and the intensity just continues to taper off. Flashbacks can tend to slow down the dramatic arc of a book, and this book is largely flashbacks connected by slow-moving events in the present. The protagonist tends to engage in more and more debates within himself as to, Is this real? Maybe that was real. What IS reality, anyway? When it was finally revealed whodunit, I could only shrug--not a surprise, not interesting. A long run for a short jump.
105 of 131 people found this review helpful
I'd say the perfect beach read for any of you summer readers looking for the perfect BR, but if you take this one to the beach you won't be doing anything other than reading -- and maybe getting a sunburn, because this is 13 hours of thriller you won't want to set down. I love it when I finally - finally -- come across a book that isn't just a good read, but also the rare grabber you can get lost in. Hours tick by, the tide come in, goes out, the seagulls eat your lunch... If you are a fan of Fargo, you may be familiar with Hawley's myriad of skills. Not a television person myself, I haven't seen the series, but am certainly compelled to do so after reading this book! If he is half the screenplay writer that he is novelist, I am a newly devoted fan.
Hawley writes with a distinct clarity of language, creating a strong narrative with a powerful momentum that doesn't just recount this story, but has you experiencing the story, connected with these characters through profiles that act like connective tissue. Even recalling it to write this review it plays in my head vividly. It's refreshing, original, it doesn't waste a word or miss a move. BTF is a bonafide thriller; a who-dunnit-and-why that continuously expands. It is multiples that intersect with a pounding heavy after effect.
Jumping right in...Hawley crafts the opening mise-en-scène deliciously, infusing the cast with an importance that portends something to come. On a warm summer night in Martha's Vineyard, a private jet readies for take-off, bound for New York. Aboard, a pilot with an outstanding record; a co-pilot that jockeyed his way into this assignment to be with one of the flight attendants; 2 world-class-beauty flight attendants; David Bateman, a multimillionaire media mogul, his wife, Maggie and their two children, 9-year-old Rachel and 4-year-old JJ.; their private security guard Gil; Ben Kipling, a mega star of the financial world currently under investigation by the FBI, and his wife Sarah; and hitching a ride by invitation of Maggie, a 40-something struggling artist and former alcoholic, Scott Burroughs. Each has a story worthy of more than their introduction -- but that is yet to come.The back-stories of each character are revealed as the investigation is carried out. Each personal history seems to suggest some kind of connection to the accident, questioning whether it is purely coincidence or strategy.
18 minutes later, the plane plunges into the Atlantic Ocean. Surviving are Scott and 4 yr. old JJ.
The real meat of the story, and the moral driven to with such force, begins when Scott drags himself and little JJ. out of the drink after an exhausting swim (including fire in the water, wreckage, and sharks) and becomes the *hero.* In an act probably understood by Captain Chesley Sullenberger, *Sully,* after landing US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, Scott becomes a reluctant hero, craving solace and reflection. In place of a personal and public account, conspiracies began to grow and distort, fanned by a loudmouth news anchorman, Bill Cunningham. From his popular bully pulpit, he conjures up his own scenario of the accident, until once a hero, Scott becomes the villain, suffering all manners of assaults on his person. Here Hawley doubles down and dishes out a hefty serving of what ails our own society. The public clamors for more dirt, hungry for scandal and gossip; Cunningham uses his role of *newsman* and the power he has to bug phones, prey on the families, and twist the truth for ratings..."I make my living off the evening news; Just give me something, Something I can use." Facts don't feed the audience as much as a juicy story and some dirty laundry.
As the investigation concludes it becomes a pyrrhic victory for Scott, and a glaring look at where we are as a society. Instead of giving us a who-dunnit wrapped in a scathing commentary, Hawley gives us a thrilling story where the answers aren't as important as the questions, and the story will leave you wondering where 12 hours just went. I enthusiastically recommend this page-turner!
58 of 74 people found this review helpful
It was a four-star book until the very end, where the conclusion felt like a let down. Of all the possibilities, this seemed the least plausible. Perhaps that was part of the moral of the story, but still...The characters seem to realign themselves with too much ease. And yet, I had to give the overall story 4 starts because it WAS very entertaining and I will definitely give the author another chance.
40 of 54 people found this review helpful
I thought the novel started well with good suspense in an overused storyline (what or who caused the plane to crash) with good subplots. But, in this story, the different subplots came together in a lackluster and predictable kind of way.
This is a story of a man who becomes a "hero" when he saves the life of a 4 year-old boy. The hero swims over 10 miles in shark infested waters to save himself and the little boy..... from there the story took a down-turn. The man's living arrangement did not make sense. He went from a "temporarily living arrangement" to hide from the press and TV cameras to "visiting" the little boy who were being cared for by his (aunt) mother's sister..... I won't say too much here, but why would the aunt kick her "no good" husband out of the house while the hero is "visiting"..... maybe I missed something but I didn't like that.... (it was too contrived). As one audible reviewed wrote, when "whodunit" was finally revealed, "I could only shrug--not a surprise, not interesting. A long run for a short jump." I can only agree. The storyline needed more suspense and less predictability.
The main character continually tried to make sense out of why he didn't die too. Likewise, this book was lacking something that would have helped the premise of the story make more sense. The ending was somewhat abrupt. I was disappointed.
Robert Petkoff is an excellent narrator!
11 of 15 people found this review helpful
Praise should be heaped upon the narrator. Petkoff's excellent narration made a good / fair story much better.
I understand why this book is a best-seller. The plot and setting are intriguing. The characters are well-written. My reason for not calling it a great read has more to do with what is missing. This story should have been suspenseful, but it wasn't. The ending, while satisfying, did not wrap up all the questions. My last thought was "Is that it?"
Maybe I am asking for too much from this story. The writer is extremely talented. I looked forward to every listen. The next audiobook out by Noah Hawley will be purchased by me.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful
A friend of mine recommended this book. It was not at all what I expected and I soon realized that the reason why I didn't like this book and would never recommend it to anyone is that it is simply not my kind of book.
From the summary, I thought I would be reading a mystery/thriller - when in actuality it was a 12 hour commentary on the moral disintegration of our society. From that perspective, the author does a great job. I was right there with him, experiencing it all. He enables the reader to visualize each character and each scene. Unfortunately, it wasn't something I was interested in listening through.
If I didn't appreciate the writing quality and what the writer was trying to accomplish, I would have given this book one star. I was so annoyed by the ending that I really didn't care why the plane crashed and sort of hoped that something terrible would befall the protagonist. That is never a good sign.
On the upside, the narrator was perfect!
6 of 8 people found this review helpful