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This defiantly nonlinear fictionalization of the life of poet Robert Frost (1874–1963) alternates between Frost's late-life visit to Communist Russia, where he met with Khrushchev, and dozens of vignettes and scenes from the rest of his long life, as well as his work's posthumous reception. Hall (I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company) takes readers from Frost's troubled childhood in San Francisco to his creative flowering in Great Britain at the onset of WWI, to the fraught relationship between Frost-as-widower and his married secretary. The narrative returns again and again to the cold winters in New England farm country that permeated his poetry and his 20s and 30s, but the book's real weight comes from the tragedy of Frost's children's deaths: four of six preceded their father. The deep sorrow and disappointment embedded in Frost's story come through particularly in the included fragments of verse. None of what's here enlarges on the extraordinary amount of biographical material on Frost, but Hall gets deep into Frost's head, an approach that brings a startling immediacy to a complex figure many know only as the author of classics like The Road Not Taken. (Mar.)
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This is an ambitious and unusual project, a novel that limits itself to documented moments of Robert Frost’s life, including actual dialogue and excerpts from poems and letters. Unconcerned with linear progression and invested in all of Frost’s life, from childhood to old age, Hall slices the poet’s experiences into more than 100 small chapters of varying points of view. The cumulative effect is impressionistic, if dizzying, and some stories burn brighter. Frost’s friendship with an aspiring poet is rendered with surprising depth and tenderness, but Frost’s relationship with his five children proves too complex for the novel’s structure, which never lingers long on any individual. Frost’s unlikely meeting with Khrushchev receives the most attention, though it is Frost’s famously intimate understanding of nature that Hall conveys most lucidly: “You were looking west, and the sun was always going down, and each range was mistier, vaguer than the one in front of it. It looked as if the ranges, one by one, were going to sleep, turning to dream.” --Kevin CloutherSee all Editorial Reviews
Brian Hall is a master of writing and doesn't fail to amaze. This book is a piece of art that traps a mans life into words and transforms them into thoughts so well developed that... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Midnight24
This novelized biography was so beautifully written and so poignant… I'm one of those folks who think knowing about an author's or poet's life enriches the experience of reading... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Katie V. Atwood
What a beautifully crafted work. I read this book with high expectations and it exceeded them all. This book is wonderful and written in such a distinctly poetic way that Frost... Read morePublished on December 8, 2012 by Ionia Martin
What really struck me about "Fall of Frost" was the novel's unconventional structure. Instead of following the chronological timeline most biographic novels take, Hall's book is... Read morePublished on January 13, 2011 by Zachary Cole
Tried to read this book even through I was warned about the format from the previous reviews. I looked forward to reading a novel about my favorite poet, Robert Frost, but believe... Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by bookworm
I wanted so bad to like Brain Hall's new novel, Fall of Frost, but I couldn't. It wasn't the odd and difficult structure that got to me. Read morePublished on August 12, 2008 by Armchair Interviews
Brian Hall's Fall of Frost is a fictional account of the life of Robert Frost, the beloved American poet. Read morePublished on August 11, 2008 by G. Dawson
I am a patient reader. I love a long book with a clear story. Hall's previous book, "I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company," is one of my favorites. Read morePublished on May 22, 2008 by Free2Read