Before the Fall

Noah Hawley  |  Fiction

two-hearts

What do you, blog readers, think about The New York Times Best Seller List?  Sometimes I find books on it that I love ... and often, well, it seems to appeal to a somewhat different sort of reader.  A reader who is, perhaps, more mainstream?  I can’t find a way to say this and maintain political correctness ... a reader who perhaps has not partaken of quite as much formal education?

Before the Fall is a disappointment from the NYT Best Seller List.  A private plane crashes into the ocean soon after taking off from Martha’s Vineyard.  The only survivors are Scott Burroughs, a struggling painter, and a four-year-old boy, JJ, who is now the heir to a media mogul’s family.

Hawley proceeds to weave into his novel the back stories of the 11 people, crew and passengers, who were on the plane.  And, of course, there are the media and law enforcement types who also weave quite amazing potential motivations and sinister plots into their musings and interviews.  But frankly, Hawley does not develop any character into a person you care about, except Scott Burroughs.  There are simply too many people in this novel, many of whom receive their own chapter, but not their own character.  I found I only cared about Scott and JJ, and whether or not Scott would fall prey to speculation that he must have sabotaged the plane, because he survived.

I am grateful to this book for one lesson – it helped me clarify what a “two heart” rating is.  A two heart rating means I tried to put the book down, but was curious enough about the end to skim the last third so I could find out what happened.  I was sufficiently unimpressed with the writing to maintain the effort to read sincerely.

If you read it and have a different opinion, please post your thoughts, as well as your perspectives on the NYT Best Seller List!

p.s. I am finishing ANOTHER book from the NYT list right now … this next one will likely receive a more favorable review.

 

 

One response on “Before the Fall

  1. mary cary crawford

    Bestseller lists are poor indicators of quality. At best, they reflect effective marketing. Yes, there are some books on NYT and other bestseller lists that are very good. But there are probably just as many that are average. The non-fiction bestseller lists sometimes have titles that, in my opinion, are very questionable in quality.
    Libraries and bookstores do pay attention to these lists because they are perceived as being creditable sources of quality reads. Many times I have heard disappointment of books selected because they were on the NYT Bestseller list. People are eager for direction in their reading. I don’t think education level has much to do with it.

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