Book Review: Before The Fall

“To try to predict the places we’ll go and the people we’ll meet would be pointless.”

Reading has become a big part of my life, and I’m so happy I get to share my thoughts on the books I read with all of you! As I write this I am almost finished with another book, so expect yet another book review sometime in the next month.

Today’s review is on Noah Hawley’s suspense novel Before The FallIf you haven’t noticed already, my book reviews tend to be less plot-focused and more general thoughts about the book. So if you’re looking to learn more about the plot, I found this New York Times review by Janet Maslin which I would recommend reading (before or after coming back to my review, of course).

Not only is Hawley an author, but he is also a TV producer/writer (best known for creating the award-winning show Fargo). As I read this book, I could definitely see elements of a TV script in his writing. He added a lot of details and descriptions of the characters, which helped them come to life on the page the way I’m sure he has to do when creating characters for the screen. I’m a sucker for good character development, so this caught my attention right away.

Another element of the novel that I liked was that each chapter switched perspective, giving you a look inside the mind of all of the main characters, similar to the way Paula Hawkins wrote The Girl On The Train. I always enjoy novels that are set up like this, because I like to get to know all of the characters instead of being stuck hearing the story from only one point of view. I also think it works well with mystery/suspense stories, unveiling pieces of the puzzle from different angles.

The one part of the novel that was a bit disappointing to me was the ending. It felt rushed and abrupt, and I didn’t feel satisfied the way I did at the end of The Girl On The Train. Like I said, Hawley adds a lot of details into the novel, and when I reached the end I realized many of the details hadn’t been relevant to the conclusion. I know this is a typical ploy to throw off the reader and ensure the ending can’t be easily guessed, but I was left wishing there had been more essential details to explain the ending.

Overall this was a well written and entertaining read, and it kept my interest the whole way through. If you like stories that include a lot of character detail and plenty of mystery, you will enjoy this book! Like I said, the ending wasn’t my favorite, but it is still well worth the read.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book, and if you agree or disagree about the ending. Have you read any of Hawley’s other novels? If not, what is the last book you read?

23 thoughts on “Book Review: Before The Fall

  1. I haven’t read any books in a long time. I’ve been super busy with remodeling. I miss reading and can’t wait to pick one up again. It’s awesome that you have the time to read. One day….Have a great week ahead.

    1. Yeah, I have definitely gone through periods of time where I wasn’t able to read as much. I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to make time for it lately! Hopefully you will be able to soon! Have a great week too! 🙂

  2. Hi, thank you for this blog review. I do love finding new books to read. I shall look for this .xx

  3. I’m always looking for new books to read as I read so much. This sounds like something I might like. I didn’t rate the ending of ‘The Girl on the Train’ that highly so maybe I will have a different perception regarding the ending of this novel? We shall see…

    1. That’s a good point, maybe you will actually like this ending better than Girl on the Train! Everyone has different opinions on it I’m sure. Let me know if you end up reading it and what you think!

  4. I did not the girl on a train was based on a book. I was wanting to watch the movie this holiday. I love reading books first. Thanks, I will try to purchase the novel.

    1. Yes it is! You should definitely read the book first. I think I enjoyed the movie more since I knew the characters and had already read the book so I could read between the lines in the movie more than the average person. Let me know your thoughts after you read it!

  5. I don’t usually read mysteries-I’m more of a historical fiction kind of girl-but this one sounds good. The switching of perspectives by chapter is one of my favorite kind of books lately. My book club just finished “All the Light We Cannot See” which also employed this technique.

    1. I would definitely recommend it! You might be surprised. I have read books that weren’t the genre I normally read and loved them, and sometimes it’s fun to read something different! And yes, I loved the switching of perspectives, I agree, it’s an awesome tactic authors use.

  6. Thanks for posting this review! It’s next on my list after I’m done reading my current book. I appreciate the fact that you don’t go into details in your review.

  7. I read “Before the Fall” prior to it being published, so I don’t remember specifics, but I remember that I liked the perspectives and how the story unfolded. I love the television adaptation of “Fargo” and I was really excited to read Hawley’s novel. I also read that “Before the Fall” has a movie adaptation in the works, hopefully Hawley is attached. I would be surprised if he isn’t.

    1. Yes I thought the different perspectives were great. And oh really, I didn’t know there was a movie coming but I will look forward to seeing that! I think it would make a good movie, especially if Hawley helps out with the script.

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