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Before the Fall

Before the Fall

Book - 2016
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On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter-and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781455561780
Characteristics: 391 pages ; 24 cm


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Winner, Best Novel

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Apr 15, 2021

The plot of this novel backtracks the series of events that lead up to a plane crash that kills everyone on the plane except for a painter, Scott Burroughs, and a 4-year-old boy who become the target of attention from the public as the survivors of the "infamous" crash. As Scott gets burrowed under fame and accusations, he goes on the search for the truth. Noah Hawley develops the story characters like a piece of a puzzle, allowing readers to put all the pieces together as the story unfolds up to the astonishing ending. I loved this book and enjoyed every step of the way because the way the author depicts each character made it so easy to become invested in them, loving some and hating others. The mystery of the crash made me not want to stop reading until I finished and found out the truth, which was certainly worth the reading. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a suspenseful story that raises insightful questions about life, morality, and fate.

Mar 24, 2021

This contemporary novel is in a class all by itself, in terms of originality. The author takes the theme of an airplane crash and the ensuing NTSB investigation into the cause in a totally unexpected direction.

Passengers and their families tell the story in fascinating chapter long cameos. The stories highlight the class and political divides that come to play when a story becomes a media sensation and speculation replaces known facts. The author makes some very astute observations about the consequences of the wealth divide and the lack of privacy in a media driven culture.

I tore through this book because it is compulsively readable and I wanted to know why this plane went down. ....had to know!

This is a book that is almost impossible to put down!

Nov 15, 2020

Quick read. Suspenseful. Flips between present day and past events as you piece together what really happened and why.

Oct 28, 2020

Many of the characters are shallow, and remind you of existing people. I gave up half-way through....Reading the NYTimes gives you more than this novel, which makes you think, "Haven't I read this before??

Aug 25, 2020

Big, big disappointment.
It started out intriguing. The middle part turned to interminably strung out. The end was a big let down.
The author seems to enjoy being crude. He dwells on money (which several of the shallow characters had much of), power and sex. He degrades the female sex by making them sound cheap and ready to jump into anyone’s bed.
I would not recommend this book and am sorry to have spent so much time reading it.

Jul 15, 2020

Really enjoyed this book. Lots of twists and turns. However I do agree with another opinion writer, there were times when the author did go on and on about mostly nothing. Just skip those paragraphs. This book is worth it

Apr 13, 2020

Fantastic audiobook!!!

sapl3 Apr 08, 2020

Scott Burroughs, a down-on-his-luck painter, is hoping his luck is about to change when he’s offered a seat on a private jet, flying from Martha’s Vineyard to New York. Sixteen minutes after take-off, he’s floating in the ocean, with only the plane’s debris and a four-year old boy in his grasp.
Hawley devotes a chapter to each character as he systematically sets out the events in each of their lives that eventually lead to the crash of this plane. It’s a riveting story. Burroughs, as the hero of this tale, becomes fodder for the media, and it’s his reaction to their questions and the elements that they find to be the most important that had me cheering for him.
Both a great adventure and a riveting commentary on the media and false news, this is one book that’s hard to put down before you reach the last page.

Jan 25, 2020


Dec 05, 2019

First time reading this author . I listened to the CD and the reader was wonderful. This book was a pleasant surprise because of the interesting perspective and descriptions , or perceptions, by the main character on certain life situtations. Maybe a reader needs to be older to "get it". This was not all about plot, although it kept you guessing right up to end. The plot was a good backdrop . All in all a good read, or maybe it was the reader that brought it all to life for me. All in all a better read than a lot of junk I have come across.

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Jul 16, 2020


Apr 21, 2018

"An engineer sees only practical design; function over form. It’s not a question of optimism or pessimism, a glass half full or half empty. To an engineer, the glass is simply too big."

ArapahoeChristine Jul 22, 2017

What is she looking for, this woman? Is it merely a way out? A clear and sensible path to safety? Or has she lost something? Someone? In that moment, when gentle rocking turned into cannonball ricochet, did she go from wife and mother, from sister or girlfriend, from daughter or paramour to refugee? A fulfilled and happy we to a stunned and grieving I?


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Apr 15, 2021

jun_177 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

ArapahoeChristine Aug 11, 2017

ArapahoeChristine thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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