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Falling Out of Time Hardcover – March 25, 2014
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“An almost unbearably personal work. . . . The monologues evoke both the raw declarations of Athenian tragedy and the homespun lamentations of Robert Frost’s narrative poem.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Spare and poetic.” —The New York Review of Books
“A richly emotional, mystical and philosophical tapestry . . . [Falling Out of Time] deserves recognition among the greatest works in the brave and indispensable tradition of art that pushes back against catastrophe.” —Jewish Daily Forward
“Slim in dimension but as solid as sculpted rock. . . . Although it grows from a private, incomparable ordeal, this noble fable speaks for all.” —The Independent (London)
“Part narrative poem, part play, part novel . . . [a] poignant study of bereavement and loss.” —Financial Times
“[Grossman is] the greatest Israeli writer of his generation. . . . Talmudic, polyphonic, yearning, [Falling Out of Time] comes from a place of pain and darkness and is acutely moving.” —The Daily Telegraph (London)
“The language of its composition makes it particular to Israel, but once translated [Falling Out of Time] becomes universal.” —The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Grossman is perhaps Israel’s most important contemporary novelist. . . . [Falling Out of Time] resembles a play by Beckett or a Greek tragedy. . . . A haunting, affecting and even beautiful book.” —The Toronto Star
“It’s not a novel, but a mixture of poetry, prose and drama . . . as true and as powerful as CS Lewis’s great A Grief Observed.” —The Times (London)
“A book that needed to be written. . . . Poetic. . . . [A] triumph.” —The Observer (London)
“At once more universal and more personal than anything [Grossman] has written before.” —Sunday Times (London)
“Falling Out of Time is short, and clearly a deeply personal book, but its importance and impact ought not to be underestimated.” —The Guardian (London)
“A significant new departure in literature.” —Jewish Chronicle
“Sensual and uncompromising. . . . Written with such simplicity it appears to be speaking directly to the reader, Falling Out Of Time is at times Biblical in its imagery, at others weird and fantastical. . . . It’s a measure of Grossman’s clarity of thought and his theatrical timing that one reaches its end and feels, in some small way, glad to have been in his characters’ company however grim the road they travel.” —The Herald Scotland
“An impassioned exploration of existential questions about life and death. . . . The precision and sensory depth of Grossman’s language renders this unconventional work an unforgettable and magnificent document of suffering.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Top Customer Reviews
It is written in a unique format, part poetry, part theater play and part independent prose. This works, because the individual formats vividly illuminate the characters, their thoughts and their feelings regarding death. Oh, the sorrow, the sadness and excruciating pain of it all, so many individuals banding together to journey towards their children, children who have died. The anguish, the need to reunite, the after-effects and affects of death are portrayed with insight, empathy and the continual mourning process of not letting go.
The expressions of grief and mourning are compelling, profound and caused this reader to reread specific pages. The writing is incredibly overpowering and intense, yet filled with beautiful prose that connects each poetic articulation so brilliantly. I can not say enough.
The never-ending/eternal fragments left behind to those who remain are depicted with masterful word-imagery. The poetic prose is absolutely stunning, poignant, heart-wrenching. As a parent, I can not imagine one of my children leaving this earth before me. It is an unspeakable thought. And, that is what the title implies: The word "death" is too agonizing to utter, as if saying the word finalizes the death, making the reality a starkness. The main character chooses to define death as a person who has fallen out of time.
He, known as "Man", and his wife are trying to begin to communicate about their son's death, five years after the fact. Their relationship since then has been one of non-communicative status.Read more ›
I can understand that the form of this book (I hesitate to call it a novel, because it could just as easily be described as poetry, play, myth, fairy tale...) will put some people off. But it made sense to me, because it is a remarkably emotionally truthful depiction of grief, The spare structure enhances the message.
There are so many ways to lose, but this is a book specifically about parents dealing with the death of their children. If you've had that experience, you will recognize yourself, your emotions and reactions in the pages of David Grossman's book: shock, denial, anger, desperation, guilt, bargaining, acceptance... It's all there, excruciatingly beautifully described:
Dear God, such pain
cuts suddenly deep down
in my stomach, my girl -
if only I knew that th-th-there, too,
when you arrived,
when you finished dying,
you were welcomed with loving arms
and a warm, fragrant t-t-towel,
or something, in whose bosom
you found peace
in those first moments.
I think one of the greatest sources of comfort is knowing that you are understood. That you do not walk this terrible road alone. A book like Falling Out of Time can bring you some peace.
about the experience of losing a child I have ever read. Grossman speaks the language of loss; some sentences
actually left me breathless. Metaphor, drama, poetry and realism mix freely for a searing but ultimately healing experience. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
It's reminiscent of the trance imposed by a Classical Greek tragedy. The characters shift from their unique stories into becoming anonymous members of a chorus--then back to their individual characters. I found it reminiscent of the work of TS Eliot.
Not an easy read, but one that captures the nature of grief as few works have done. I'll be surprised if it doesn't show up as a theatre production at some point.
The style is too halting and choppy for my taste---you go from a poetic style of writing to a more story-telling style of writing every other page. I prefer a book that is more consistent, stylistically.
As a mother and a pastor, I have a boatload of books on loss and grief, and especially on parental loss. Many are straightforward, not a few are little more than drivel, and two (the other being Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament for a Son) capture the language and experience of those who have "learned to live the inverse of life."
At first, the narative/poem/song/lament reminded me of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, with the Town Chronicler serving in a role similar to the Narrator's. The it began to morph into an epic journey, like that of Odysseus, or Dante, except that the pilgrims are a small, heartbroken community of mourners who seek that which is completely unattainable: a path to their beloved children. Now, I am going to go back to re-read slowly, and highlight all those phrases which speak our experience -- which means that my paperback will become increasingly yellow.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Perhaps not for parents in the first couple of years, but for those who have made it through a few, long enough for the reality to sink in, and who wonder where we might find companionship in the silent solitude in which we now live.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mr. Grossman beautifully and hauntingly expresses the unexpressable !! Anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one especially a child must read this. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Beth Thurston
This astounding book conveys Grossman's "felt sense" of the process through which grieving parents must confront loss, if they are to become even close to whole once again.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
excellent prose poetry... he is a writer who writes from beneath the depth of his soul about the grief of parents who have lost adult children through military service in Israel...Published 13 months ago by Ruth Cope
An incredible book that captures the difficult emotions of being a bereaved parent. This will resonate with anyone in this situation or who wants to understand someone who has... Read morePublished 16 months ago by rhona r schreck
Beautiful, tender, emotional follow-up to "Til the End of the Land".Published 17 months ago by Renny
Amazing book that I have dogearred tremendously since purchasing it and reading it several times in the first month. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Karen H
A book to read again and again. Pure poetry, with an outstanding translation.Published 20 months ago by Lucille A. Parnes
Excruciatingly brilliant. Painful, almost unbearably so but beautiful. A must read, although a difficult subject.Published 21 months ago by barbara klein
This is one of the best books ever( and I have read most of them) on the
experience of traumatic grief and the clarity of the life that one has following
the loss of a... Read more