Review: Before the Fall

Before the Fall

Before the Fall

By Noah Hawley
Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9781455561780, May 2016, 400pp.

The Short of It:

A plane goes down. There are only two survivors, one of which is unable to remember the plane’s final moments due to a head injury. The mystery of what happens on board slowly unfolds.

The Rest of It:

Plane crashes fascinate me. There’s always so much to learn. Passengers confined to a tiny space thousands of feet above ground with absolutely nowhere to go, the complexity of the instruments, the flight crew and yes… the passengers themselves. I didn’t need much prodding when a copy of this book became available.

This is a riveting read. It reads like a mystery and there’s plenty of suspense to keep you guessing. What exactly happened on that plane? Hawley’s passenger lists includes some well-to-do passengers, two young children, an artist who boards last-minute but is pretty much a stranger to the rest of the cabin, the flight crew and the bodyguard assigned to protect one of the families on board.

I really enjoyed this book. There have been some books like it in the past few years but the storytelling in this one seemed effortless and the pacing was just right.

I recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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16 thoughts on “Review: Before the Fall”

    1. ​I’ve heard that a lot of people had issues with the ending but I am not sure why. There could be many reasons but it worked for me… maybe because it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It reads almost like a police procedural. Each character is picked apart, backstories are given, etc. I liked that part very much. ​

  1. I’ve read so many mixed reviews on this one, including as Kathy said, that the ending was disappointing. I have this on my TBR pile and so likely will read it. I’m curious to know which side of the fence I fall on.

    1. I am interested too because I think it really depends on who you ask about it. It didn’t end the way I thought it would and for me, that was good because I hate for it to be too predictable. Was it a hit you over the head type of ending? No. But that’s okay too. Planes go down for many reasons and that’s part of the fun in trying to figure out what the heck happened.

  2. I’ve heard some great things about this one. I have it on my kindle, but haven’t really given it much thought yet. After reading what you’ve written though, I definitely plan on moving it up my TBR list.

  3. I tend to avoid any book involving a plane crash, so have been on the fence about the one. Glad you enjoyed it and didn’t have a problem with the ending… I’ve seen that complaint, too.

  4. Obviously I shouldn’t even comment on the ending because lol, I didn’t get past 15%. For me, I had problems with the book early on – with the writing and the characters. I’m sure in a different mindset, I would have looked past those issues. So from where I stopped reading (15% mark), the ending just made me go what? really? In looking at the structure of the book, I can see how that ending is cleverly placed there and how it’s definitely unpredictable. But knowing now what the ending is without having read much of the book, I have no desire to go back to it. I do feel bad about it – I think I had a lot of hopes for it, but didn’t work out. I’m glad you enjoyed it though.

  5. My sister always tells people she was in a plane crash but REALLY she was just in a plane, like, emergency landing. They did get hit by lightning (v. dramatic), but the landing was controlled and everyone was fine. Given the statistical unlikeliness of that happening to me or someone I know, I like to think I’m now protected from all future plane crashes. :p

    (This comment is going to seem tragically ironical if I do, in fact, die in a plane crash.)

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