Falling Man: A Novel

by Don DeLillo | Audiobooks |
ISBN: 1416546022 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 1/7/2008
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, January 07, 2008
I received this as a Christmas present.

From Amazon:
The defining moment of turn-of-the-21st-century America is perfectly portrayed in National Book Award winner Don DeLillo's Falling Man. The book takes its title from the electrifying photograph of the man who jumped or fell from the North Tower on 9/11. It also refers to a performance artist who recreates the picture. The artist straps himself into a harness and in high visibility areas jumps from an elevated structure, such as a railway overpass or a balcony, startling passersby as he hangs in the horrifying pose of the falling man.

Keith Neudecker, a lawyer and survivor of the attack, arrives on his estranged wife Lianne's doorstep, covered with soot and blood, carrying someone else's briefcase. In the days and weeks that follow, moments of connection alternate with complete withdrawl from his wife and young son, Justin. He begins a desultory affair with the owner of the briefcase based only on their shared experience of surviving: "the timeless drift of the long spiral down." Justin uses his binoculars to scan the skies with his friends, looking for "Bill Lawton" (a misunderstood version of bin Laden) and more killing planes. Lianne suddenly sees Islam everywhere: in a postcard from a friend, in a neighbor's music--and is frightened and angered by its ubiquity. She is riveted by the Falling Man. Her mother Nina's response is to break up with her long-time German lover over his ancient politics. In short, the old ways and days are gone forever; a new reality has taken over everyone's consciousness. This new way is being tried on, and it doesn't fit. Keith and Lianne weave into reconciliation. Keith becomes a professional poker player and, when questioned by Lianne about the future of this enterprise, he thinks: "There was one final thing, too self-evident to need saying. She wanted to be safe in the world and he did not."

DeLillo also tells the story of Hammad, one of the young men in flight training on the Gulf Coast, who says: "We are willing to die, they are not. This is our srength, to love death, to feel the claim of armed martyrdom." He also asks: "But does a man have to kill himself in order to accomplish something in the world?" His answer is that he is one of the hijackers on the plane that strikes the North Tower.

At the end of the book, De Lillo takes the reader into the Tower as the plane strikes the building. Through all the terror, fire and smoke, De Lillo's voice is steady as a metronome, recounting exactly what happens to Keith as he sees friends and co-workers maimed and dead, navigates the stairs and, ultimately, is saved. Though several post-9/11 novels have been written, not one of them is as compellingly true, faultlessly conceived, and beautifully written as Don De Lillo's Falling Man.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, August 03, 2009
Falling Man follows Keith and his family in the following days and weeks after 9/11. Keith was in the World Trade Centre when it was hit, but managed to make it out, taking a briefcase with him that belonged to someone else. Something brings Keith back to the doorstep of his estranged family, covered in soot and blood. He finds the owner of the briefcase and connects with her from the horrifying experience they shared. Meanwhile, Keith's wife feels a strong urge to somehow connect herself to the terrorist acts. Keith's son and his friends have decided to keep a watchful eye on the skies to make sure that planes never do the same thing again.

There were some interesting aspects to this book. No matter how much things change, some things always remain the same. Keith remains aloof and non-commitmental through the entire book. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a downfall from the story because the reader can never really connect with him.

For such an emotional time in history, I really found this book to be lacking in emotion. All exchanges between the characters were forced and hard to read. The snippets were short and there wasn't enough time to get a good understanding of the character. DeLillo also has the habit of not using the character's name but rather "he" or "she", which makes things really confusing throughout the entire book because you wonder which character DeLillo is referring to.

This book could have been amazing, since it's such an important story to tell. I found that it fell short and was quite disappointing.

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, September 14, 2009
Mailed to BooksnBeer from the non genre swap

Journal Entry 4 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I just received this from the non-genre swap at Bookobsessed. I am a NewYorker and this tradegy rocked my world. I am interested to read this.

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