Read of the week: Noah Hawley Before the Fall

8:00:00 AM

THE LOWDOWN:

Before the Fall Fargo show runner
RAD indeed!


A former alcoholic and still struggling artist in his forties, Scott Burroughs, is slowly getting his life together. This former Lothario wants to live a calmer life, a small cottage on Martha's Vineyard, a three legged dog, just some peace and quiet to regain trust in his own work.  Now there's budding interest in his paintings in New York. The day Scott has to get back with the ferry, he runs into a friend, Maggie Bateman, at the farmers market. She, filthy rich, offers Scott a seat on her private plane.
Not believing his luck, and running late for the flight, Scott boards just in time for take off.
Eighteen minutes later the plane has crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, and Scott, disoriented, hears somebody crying, somewhere out there in the dark waters.
There were eight passengers and three crew members on board. Two multimillionairs and their families. Maggie's husband David Bateman was the CEO of a populist TV channel, think Fox News. His friend Scott Kipling, was a Wall Street investor, who was on the verge of being indicted for shady dealings with hostile nations.
While the FBI tries to piece together what happened, David's main man, news anchor Bill Milligan, a Bill O'Reilly-like piece of trash, comes to his own conclusions in two seconds flat and starts screaming sabotage, terrorism, and pointing fingers at the man who emerged from the crash a hero. Scott.


Why I loved it:
This is some slick storytelling. I didn't realize that Noah Hawley was Fargo's show runner when I read it. And I am glad . He impressed me all over again. But knowing it now I see the similarities. Let's take this last season of Fargo. We get a finely woven story, carefully resting his attention on all players. Before the fall also follows this very satisfying structure.  Everyone on board gets his own chapter.
The structure reminds me of walking my dogs. When they see other dogs, they watch, then sniff, then pull and then start this dance till all the leashes become one big knot, and everybody is overexcited.
Fargo and Before the fall, both show how dangerous it is, when you put willful stupidity, pure evil, and decency together. It's great for us, it provides laughs, it gives you thrills and it makes you angry and worried at the same time.
As in Fargo the story presented in Before the fall reflects nicely on what is going on in the world right now. The greed, the hubris, fame, the stupidity of the media frenzy, the longing for something simple and good in these troubled times.
The prose is efficient, fierce, direct and inventive. Loved this description:
"But in the same way a man's nose and ears become exaggerated as he ages, so do the psychological issue that define him/ We all become caricatures of ourselves, if we live long enough."
I read some reviews that said there are too many characters. This drives me crazy. If you ask me, it is just lazy reading, not wanting to invest in several voices. Anyway, if when watching Fargo, you had no interest in Nick Offerman as the alcoholic lawyer, or Mike Milligan as the Kansas city gangster, skip this. ( and please never give me recommendations!)


Before the fall it's my kind of juice read, intelligent, and clear-cut.
I didn't find it as some reviewers said a tale about fate, the human condition or any of that crap. It is just a very well told suspense novel, methodical and very satisfying in his characterization, pulling every thread tighter, taking his time, getting to a well deserved ending.


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1 comments

  1. That sounds like an interesting book. I love reading in summer when I'm outside. Stop by my blog if you like, xoxo
    www.hollylovespaul.com

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