A few weeks back, I was reading the latest entry in the How I Work series in Lifehacker. I squealed with delight when I saw Mary Roach! If you don’t know her, go click on that link and we can discuss the book after. I’m not going anywhere.
I digress. Mary Roach mentioned that she was currently reading Noah Hawley’s “Before The Fall”. Who the heck is he, you may ask. He’s the guy who created and wrote the amazing television series Fargo. I would like one more serving of Noah Hawley. Yes, please.
I held the book gleefully, expecting another treasure of dark humor, wit and a few casualties. I must say that there were indeed a few casualties, then again, which book doesn’t?
The main premise of “Before the Fall” is the crash of a private plane, aboard which were eleven people. Two survive, and the book explores the mystery behind the crash and if there’s more to it than meets the eye. Scott Burroughs, a playboy artist who’s down on his luck (who has no business to be on the private jet, thus attracting suspicion) is one of the ‘lucky’ survivors. He is initially hailed as the hero who saved the four year old boy who was in the plane with him.
The mystery unfolds with a series of flashbacks of the lives of those who were aboard the plane. The book seemed to drag on, because it isn’t entirely interesting to read about eleven people unless they’re quirky personalities with psychopathic tendencies. If I were to assign a personality to the book, it would be that of a confused millennial who’s trying to find his “most authentic” voice. On occasions, the book reads as a political drama, in others an emotional one, sometimes a thriller, with an undercurrent of a detective story. Another thing that disappointed me was that there was none of the trademark Fargo dark humor, which was the main reason I picked up the book. And the anti climatic ending felt like a practical joke that was played on the reader.
I wonder if Mary Roach is as disappointed as I am.