Title: Falling Man
Author: Don DeLillo
9/11. The Twin Towers are burning...And then, as the world watched over, horror-struck, the towers came tumbling down... south tower first..then the north..."He heard the sound of the second fall, or felt it in the trembling air, the north tower coming down, a soft awe of voices in the distance." Enormous plume of smoke rapidly engulfed the entire region. "It was not a street anymore but a world, a time and space of falling ash and near night".
Keith, a 39 year-old lawyer, who worked in the Twin Towers, emerged out of the rubble, glass shards jutting out of his skin, ashes coated all over. He appeared at the doorsteps of Lianne, his estranged wife, in a stupor. He carried a briefcase that was not his. It was handed down when he was waiting on the staircase, to escape the burning towers. He forgot to pass it on and now carried it with him. Lianne, a freelance editor, lived with her son Justin, a 7-year-old. Lianne wanted to reconcile their differences, after nearly a year of seperation. But, Keith, a philanderer, proved her wrong once again. When Keith seeks the owner of the briefcase, Florence, he was attracted by her. His affair with Florence was short-lived, however. His interests soon turns to gambling and poker games.
Two parallel stories run along the main plot. One is that of Hammad, a hijacker, who trains in the US to carry out his secretive mission. Second is, Falling man himself. Falling man is a performance artist who stages public stunts (wearing a safety harness tied to his suit) in an attempt to evoke dreadful memories of people falling from the burning towers.
The individual sections of the novel are vividly described. The final chapter is definitely worthy of mention. Hammad wrestles with his emotions on the hijacked plane; the plane hits the tower; and it beautifully transitions into Keith catapulted back and forth as the towers swayed due to the impact. The ending was perfect; beautiful. However, the overall plot fails miserably to engage reader's attention. The characters are shallow, and seemingly disconnected from each other. The prose is fragmented, incoherent and frustrating at times. I won't recommend this book to anyone. Very Disappointing!!
My Rating: 2.5/5