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Fallen Land: A Novel Hardcover – August 15, 2013
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"As in his sterling 2012 debut, Absolution, Flanery balances thriller-novel twists with smart and sincere sociological meditations."—Wall Street Journal
"Patrick Flanery has fashioned a crumbling 21st-century manor that can hold its own among those authors most sepulchral, allegorical inspirations. . . . We follow Fallen Land on tenterhooks from fearsome opening to shuddery climax, waiting to see what it will do."—Boston Globe
“Flanery has planted a modern-day bogeyman tale in this fertile ground of suspicion. . . . He has the skill and the vision to transform the darkness that has infected this country into something that walks the earth”—New York Daily News
“[Flanery is a] gifted storyteller . . . manages to both provoke and enthrall in this densely plotted page turner.”—BookPage
“[Flanery] confronts the traumas of American life with poignancy and the gravity they deserve, approaching them with the care required to help weather the storm.”—BookSlut
"This psychological thriller doesn’t stop at suspenseful and chilling, though. Fallen Land deconstructs the American dream to expose its most damning flaws and unsound foundations. The novel is rich in imagery and metaphor, and its conclusions are deeply disturbing. Written with the same elegance and ease demonstrated in Absolution, Flanery’s second novel will keep readers riveted from intriguing prelude to stunning finale."—Booklist (starred)
"Flanery’s engrossing new novel speaks to modern anxieties through themes of loss. . . . Flanery excels in depicting psychic anguish. Paul is both disturbing and fascinating, and Copley, helpless in the face of his father’s increasing harshness, is eminently sympathetic. The characters’ struggles culminate in a shocking and memorable denouement."—Publishers Weekly (starred)
"Flanery explores family and social mores, cataloging emotional damage tumbling from generation to generation, all woven into a metaphorical tale about the human cost of bubble economics, the undermining of personal freedoms in the name of homeland security and the ugly consequences of the privatization of public service. . . . Flanery’s dark view of human ambition, weakness and complacency is both thoughtful and terrifying. A haunting, layered allegory."—Kirkus (starred)
“Flanery gives every character a nuanced inner voice, allowing the reader to empathize with, if not fully understand, the actions of each. This is a tense, gut-wrenching take on the American dream gone horribly awry.”—Library Journal, (starred)
"Like Flanery’s debut, Absolution, Fallen Land is thematically ambitious—the financial crisis and the legacy of slavery are among its concerns—but also thrillingly tense and atmospheric. The author tugs at the edges of his narrative until it assumes exaggerated, Gothic shapes. Comparisons to Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom there are allusions throughout, would not be extravagant."—Financial Times
“Now, on the back of his highly regarded South Africa–set debut, Absolution, Patrick Flanery takes up the challenge of what DeLillo calls 'the American mystery' in a new novel that also explores the dark shadows cast by history and old lies. . . . In Fallen Land, Flanery has given us a gripping thriller, and a superb portrayal of how ordinary men can veer into madness, but its real power lies in its recognition of the tragic failure of an American dream that should have tried, at least, to live up to Francis Bellamy's principle of 'liberty and justice for all.' ”—The Guardian
“Patrick Flanery’s second novel . . . combines old-style suspense with a chilling picture of modern America. . . . Fallen Land is an ambitious thriller vehicle for a dissection of America. . . Fallen Land impressively examines how thoroughly the American dream has turned into the American nightmare.”—Sunday Times
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Top Customer Reviews
At the heart of Fallen Land is Paul Krovik, a property developer who wanted to be a builder ever since he was a young child playing with blocks. To fulfill his dreams, he eventually purchases Poplar Farm. The land has been in Louise Washington's family for generations. Although Louise was pressured to sell the land, she was ultimately unwilling to leave her beloved house. She feels added resentment because she is forced to watch the trees and wildlife on Poplar Farm being destroyed for an inept, senseless plan. She'd been led to believe they would be spared.
This is is a haunting and very poignant work, one which is also at times suspenseful and violent. The actions of most of the main individuals are so extreme that I found it best to view the story as a symbol for current events and passions in today's world - rather than a depiction of believable events (similar to the way a good fantasy may highlight reality in sharper detail).
As time goes on, Paul grows increasingly unhinged and out of touch with reality. Not only are his luxury homes half-finished but his wife and young sons have also left him. Even so, he clings to the home he no longer owns, living in secret within it (how he accomplishes this is too complicated to explain here).Read more ›
While there's a flashback to how the property came into its current hands, the majority of the novel focuses on the land as it is today. Based down from generation to generation in a time when African American families were not considered landowners, the plot had huge significance to the African American family that lived on it. But when the patriarch died, there was no one to keep up the house and farm. So the last woman in the legacy, sold off pieces to a developer who promised to bring prosperity to the land and rejuvenate it. Instead, he divided up the land, cut down the trees, and built shabby houses. All the while, the last woman in the family watched as her property was thrown to the wolves and she was on the brink of getting evicted. When the developer went bankrupt, he had to leave the land...but what if he had no where to go? What if the land had such a hold on him that he was incapable of leaving? Another family moves into the developer's old house to start anew in this little Midwest town. The family is far from perfect and the land seems to further irritate their already tenuous relationship. It's obvious from the get-go that this is a prescription for disaster!
Are you sucked in yet? Well, I was!Read more ›
"Fallen Land" is a taut psychological thriller. It's a winner but one that owes kudos to everything from Dennis Lahane to "Cape Fear" to Jon Cassar. Dystopia sells and Patrick Flanery is selling it at a bulk rate where Nate, Juile and Copley have moved into a failed society of evil corporations managing lives, alienating suburbs, racism masked as immigration, drug pushing psychiatrists, narcissistic parents to consumed to understand their child, cynical "education" that teaches nothing but obedience bullying and tasers and really bad weather. In the end no one can ever rise above it and instead defer to their worst instincts. Some are victims. Others get just what they deserve.
As entertainment it works. We love this stuff. "24", Kennedy conspiracies, "Homeland" "Revolution" or anything on the SciFi channel. In all cases we're not in control, cannot make a bit of difference and it all ends badly.
And there is good horror too. We read/watch with half closed eyes as our lead characters all inevitably dissolve. We want to look away but you can't. I know I couldn't. I LIKED IT! Just like a good Parker novel or Charles Bronson flick. The only thing missing from was our stalker Paul Krovik "calling from inside the house".
My point here is that as entertainment it's great.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book. It's very clear that the author has some background in urban planning. A powerful statement on the perils of modern-day housing developments.Published 11 months ago by mock5turtle
An outstanding work. A book I finished a couple of days ago, and still feel haunted by...
The plot is `simple' and set out, as I am about to set it out, pretty... Read more
In this beautifully wrought novel that spans generations, Patrick Flanery takes us inside the lives of Nathanial and Julia Noailles, a family moving from Boston, seeking a new... Read morePublished 17 months ago by DanD
“Danger is everywhere, especially in the suburbs.”
This dark, disturbing novel is fascinating as well as psychologically complex. Read more
If you're searching for an original premise and a plot that keeps the pages turning, look no further! This book is different. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Barbara McArthur
"Fallen Land" was intense and disturbing. Louise is the last remaining owner of the family farm and, crippled by debt, is forced to sell it to a developer. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Joel Kramer
I tried, I really tried reading this book. I started reading it several times, but could not get into the story. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Andy Wallace
As a youth, I was scarred by seeing "Death of a Salesman," which nearly put me off seeing plays for life. Read morePublished 21 months ago by S. J. Whiteside
Louise has lived on her family farm for most of her life, when she has no other choice but to sell the land, she keeps her childhood home. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Young@Heart