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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Don Delillo has written a powerful, moving novel about the aftermath.
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.
In the novel are two main characters, Keith and Lianne and some other, not so important characters.
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 3 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 6 months ago by H.W.
In the panorama of late 20th century American life, captured in Don DeLillo's Underworld, amidst baseball games, New York City, art exhibits, relationships, violence, graffiti... Read morePublished 9 months ago by J Swink
This novel taps into the juxtaposition of disconnection and togetherness that Americans felt after 9/11. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jennifer
The book was listed as new, but it was not as crisp as if it really was new. There appears to be some wear with the bent corners especially. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kenneth A. Anderson
A beautifully written and intelligent novel of the aftermath of 9/11 for people living in NYC. Heads above most of the novels written by so-called writers of best sellers today.Published 11 months ago by peg