Title: Falling Man
Author: Don DeLillo
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Falling Man by Don DeLillo is basically just a part of a man’s life. This man, Keith, has survived the 9/11 attacks, and the book starts just after. Although the event obviously did have an impact on his life, it is not so much a negative one. Of course, there are some images he, and also his family (who have only seen pictures but still), will never get out of his head, but his life does not seem damaged, as it already was pretty messed up before. He had separated from his wife and the first thing he does in the novel is go back to the apartment he shared with her and their son Justin.
The first 70 or so pages are quite rough to get through. DeLillo’s writing style is rather unstable – sometimes it feels very structuralised whereas at other times it is very messy and confusing. There are paragraphs in which a character called ‘he’ or ‘she’ is never truly defined and context does not really determine which character it has to be. Moreover, things feel very repetitious – the same events were written about from various perspectives which is normally quite interesting, but if the characters all had the same experience, it becomes boring.
Some pages in, however, the story becomes interesting. Keith, the protagonist is not the character I could empathise with, but his wife is more so, as well as Justin, and when their storylines became more prominent I could not put the book down.
The way DeLillo wrote from the terrorist’s point of view was very intriguing and courageous and those parts were very well-written, too.
There still were some parts in which the style of writing did not make sense to me but it was easier to ignore because of the interesting plot.
Although the novel had a few ups and many downs, I will still rate it 3/5 stars, because it had me hooked, eventually.