Falling Man: Book summary and reviews of Falling Man by Don DeLillo

Falling Man

By Don DeLillo

Falling Man
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  • Published in USA  May 2007,
    246 pages.

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Book Summary

There is September 11 and then there are the days after, and finally the years. 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The writing has the intricacy and purpose of a wiring diagram. The mores of the after-the-event are represented with no cuteness—save, perhaps, the falling man performance artist." - PW.

" In the past, DeLillo has been a notably chilly writer, clinical rather than compassionate toward his characters, more interested in what he wants them to stand for than who they are. Here he's obviously trying to invest them with more human qualities, and he gets points for the effort, but he can't pull it off. The only emotions in this novel come from outside, from pictures on television, and that's not good enough." - The Washington Post.

"Starred Review. [I]t'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.

"If Underworld took its cues from the kinetic cinema of Eisenstein, Falling Man, up until its remarkable final sequence, is all oblique silences and enigmatic close-ups reminiscent of the domestic anomie of the New Wave. In DeLillo’s hands, this is not at all limiting or prosaic. There’s a method to the Resnais-like fogginess. The cumulative effect is devastating, as DeLillo in exquisite increments lowers the reader into an inexorable rendezvous with raw terror." - The New York Times.

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Author Information

Don DeLillo Author Biography

Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Falling Man, Libra and White Noise, and three plays. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Jerusalem Prize. In 2006, Underworld was named one of the three best novels of the last twenty-five years by The New York Times Book Review, and in 2000 it won the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the most distinguished work of fiction of the past five years.

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