Book Review: Don DeLillo's Falling Man

10:59 am

As you may have guessed from my recent post on Cormac McCarthy's The Road, I'm a big fan of trauma in writing. It's a big part of my masters degree scheduling at the moment and something I've been quite passionate about for a while now after becoming interested in contemporary fiction. I don't know what it is about it that draws me in, possibly the extremes of emotion or the upheaval of ordinary life. These are two subjects drawn upon heavily in Don DeLillo's Falling Man, the story of a 9/11 survivor and his attempt at a return to daily life with his estranged wife and young son.

I knew the initial story would grip me, and it did. The description of people wandering the streets in the initial aftermath of the attacks was dream-like and haunting. DeLillo has a wonderful writing style that I've really enjoyed in the past (I read White Noise last summer and would really recommend it) but as the book progressed I found myself falling more and more out of love with it. I thought the characters were bland, especially the protagonist, Keith, whose life changes were more irritating than understandable. Events seemed to occur for little reason, and with little resolution, bringing a book that started off as a 4-star read down to a 2-star, much to my disappointment. From reading reviews from newspapers and Goodreads, I can see a lot of people felt the same way, as if the novel was a huge tangent from his usual quality writing. Considering this I haven't been put off reading more of his books, even though this really did leave me underwhelmed and a bit annoyed.

** / 5

M x

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