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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. --Valerie Ryan
In the novel are two main characters, Keith and Lianne and some other, not so important characters.
Never one to quit in the middle of a book unless it's absolutely excruciating, though, I held on to the end, at which point I felt I got a bit of a payoff.
This talent for the suggestive adds a special dimension to DeLillo's writing that is as strong a presence in this novel as any character.
I had to read this book for a college english class. It was okay. I wouldn't read it again.Published 1 day ago by Cece Lafluer
Book jumped around a lot, but overall I enjoyed it. I wish that the storyline could have had more depth.Published 21 days ago by Shena Brock
DeLilllo is an amazing writer - both in character development & dialogue. The imagines he creates of the post 911 experiences of his story characters are intense, horrific, and... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Carol DiMarcello
The novel tells the story of a couple of New Yorkers, who are separating and in a process of personal alienation from each other, which see their lives turned... Read more
Since he is a lifelong New Yorker and keenly interested in terrorism and media spectacles, Don DeLillo could be expected to write a novel about September 11. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Christopher Culver
Was an intriguing read throughout. Sometimes I felt a bit lost and confused....things got a bit too circuitous for too long and parts felt like it was dragging. Read morePublished 11 months ago by H.W.