FallBook - 2009
From an internationally acclaimed, prizewinning author, whom critics have compared to Dave Eggers and Michael Ondaatje, comes a tour de force: a mesmerizing novel that is at once a spellbinding psychological thriller and a brilliant portrait of adolescence that goes deep into the heads of two very different boys.
Awkward Noel thinks he's been allowed into the inner circle of his elite boarding school when he discovers his senior-year roommate is to be handsome, athletic Julius. Julius, in turn, cares only for the fleeting joys of teenage life: sneaking out to parties, playing pranks with friends, and most of all, spending the night with his girfriend, Fall. As Noel narrates this fateful semester from a perspective of many years, interwoven is Julius's own in-the-moment experiences of first love and male camaraderie.
Always an outsider, Noel develops an unhealthy fascination with Julius, and his crush on Fall begins to border on a dangerous obsession. As Julius experiences all the pleasures of an eighteen-year-old in love, we watch as Noel self-consciously analyzes his interactions with Julius and Fall, convincing himself of a deep connection that might not exist. When Fall disappears close to winter break, Julius and Noel are forced to face their own inner desires, a confrontation that ushers the two boys out of the innocence of adolescence and into adulthood.
A tremendous literary page-turner that perfectly captures the agonies and delights of adolescence, Fall is the exhilaration and angst of teenage love and friendship- and the ultimate transience of those feelings.
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Unimaginable disappointments had filled her body like water from a hose, and there she was, looking swollen and red behind the register of a store selling cigarettes and unnecessary treats. I must admit that blowing over the surface of my shock was the slightest breeze of a smile. I toyed with the idea of going in and talking to her. I liked the idea that simply by standing on the other side of the counter I could confirm my superiority to her. But I didn't like being reminded so vividly that we can never ultimately avoid the pugilism of life, the dumb constant blows of unpredictable moment that - fat, thin, one-eyed, or beautiful - make us all, ultimately, revolting to strangers passing our windows. They don't see us getting hit, they only see the aftermath. I didn't want the slightest knowledge of what put Sarah in that state.
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