Before The Fall by Noah Hawley
Hawley, is a novelist, TV writer who is currently surrounded by a wave of popularity as the creator of the Fargo series, works against the conventions of literary thrillers, relying on a keen sense of rhythm to sustain a story that retains its secrets to the end.
In “Before the Fall,” the book begins with a group of people boarding a private jet to Martha’s Vineyard. Sixteen minutes into the flight, the plane crashes into the ocean.
The only survivors are Scott (a wrestler painter) and her 4 – year-old JJ. Scott nothing for more than 8 hours with a dislocated shoulder, dragging the child on his back until he finds the land.
The book paints small coincidences that reveal Hawley shrewdly without being too conclusive. Kidnappings, terrorism, and journalistic ethics could all be the clue about what happened on that flight.
Why the copilot, who was changed at the last minute to approach the hostess he could have crashed? Or the investment banker who has just got arrested for money laundering?
And above all – why the wife of media mogul, Maggie Bateman, Scott invites the plane? In the days following, the media, especially television network, the choleric Mr. Bateman struggle itself, to discover – or sometimes create – a gripping narrative for viewers.
Hawley tends to emphasize visual passages, and the book world framed the way their characters think and act.
There is a moment in every horror films depends on the silence, “he writes, just before a researcher makes a key discovery.” The real horror, you see, does not come from the ferocity of the unexpected, but the corruption of everyday objects and spaces.
“Before the Fall” takes advantage of its plot of propulsion and other Hawley brings greed, wealth, analysis of media, art, class, desire, and love to teach how our lives they define through a firm struggle between internal and external forces.
They are curious the reasons why we are suddenly attracted by a specific book, either by a cover or an argument that catches our attention, by fidelity to an author, or, as in this case, by the information on the cover that the author is the creator of the series Fargo, which has been decisive in my choice of the book.
Since both the first and second season of the series were very interesting, and I wanted to see how it was Noah Hawley writing a story in the form of a novel.
The truth is that I was not disappointed at all, although I have to say that it was not the kind of novel that was waiting for me, since it does not look like the Fargo series.
Neither in the theme, nor in the characters or in the kind of black humor that characterizes the series.
However, I have enjoyed reading the book because, in the first place, it is well written. It is clear that the author knows how to tell a story and develop it while maintaining interest until the end.
The novel begins with the plane crash, in which the painter Scott and J.J. survive, the four-year-old boy who travels with his millionaire family and who orphaned after the catastrophe.
From here we will see the consequences that this accident will have on the lives of both survivors, and how those around them approach them with the intention of helping or using them.
On the other hand is the accident investigation to try to find the causes of the plane falling into the sea.
The rest of the novel repeatedly jumps from the past to the present and vice versa. There are flashbacks in the past as you explore the lives of each of the nine people who died in the accident. Hawley examines their lives, with their positive and negative sides.
The novel is about how to deal with such a disaster, the way to assume the loss, the pain of continuing to live, and the ability to start over. It also deals with the power of the media, how information in a catastrophe case such as the one that arises, can be manipulated and focused so that public opinion is towards certain suspicions.
Explore the thin line between facts and speculation
The main character has captivated me by his sobriety, his courage, his honesty, his inner strength and his humanity. The rest of the characters are less drawn, but it is interesting to know the ins and outs of their lives.
As I say, the chapters take us continuously from the past to the present, from the day of the plane crash until the moment when Scott is the victim of harsh journalistic harassment that forces him to try to hide from the world, especially the media. , while deciding whether to confront them once and for all.
The novel does not have a significant plot, no surprises or twists, or a high action that makes you go page after page. It is a novel that has a calm and unhurried future, without shrillness or scenes of action. Not even the first chapters, in which the plane crash takes place, are designed to impact.
The narration takes place simply and elegantly, trapping the reader without traps or twists of a nut. What I liked the most are some reflections that give it a depth that elevates the narration over pure entertainment.
Maybe it will not be a novel that causes fury and captivates everyone, but I found it interesting, so I think I should recommend it, although I certainly do not support reading it at an airport before traveling by plane.