Monday, June 23, 2008

Falling Man

Title: Falling Man
Author: Don DeLillo
Picador, 2008 (2007)

I often get bored with pretentious novels (maybe that just means I am stupid, but I believe that is what they are designed to make you believe) so I have avoided Don DeLillo until now. Well, he is pretentious, but although he won't become my favourite author, he knows his craft. The last chapter of the novel will stay with me for a good long while and the time structure of the story is genious.

I admit the subject matter is what attracted me to this novel first and foremost: 9/11. As far as I can judge it must be one of the first big fictional attempts to get really up close and personal with that event. Into the towers, into the planes and into the minds of the people who were there. Authors have kept an appropriate distance so far. This is quite a feat to pull off without becoming speculative and gory. It must be said: DeLillo has a nice, light touch and makes the reader feel present without the nasty, shameful sense of being the curious, awestruck bystander.

And some of the high-brow, philosphical dialogue did, in fact, add something worthwhile to the understanding of the subject. So maybe I am not that stupid after all.

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