Book - 2009
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In the tradition of A Separate Piece, a masterpiece of adolescent perspective, emotion, impulse, and relationships: the riveting story of two male roommates at a co-ed boarding school and what happens when the girlfriend of one of them goes missing during their final year.

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.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2009
ISBN: 9781594488689
Characteristics: 360 p. ; 22 cm
Call Number: MCADAM, C


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Aug 16, 2015

I really enjoyed this sombre love triangle where a friendship and crush quickly turn to drama. While the story itself is not terribly original, the writing is superb: the voice of Noel and Julius very different, reflecting their incredibly different points of view and reality. Julius and Fall, a beautiful golden couple, Julius, especially oblivious to evil, envy and darkness; Noel a brooding, misunderstood youngster, uncomfortable in his body and too smart to really fit in.
The events slowly build to its inevitable climax; once I understood the different voices, I had a hard time putting down the book.

kbo90 Mar 14, 2015

It was OK. If you've got it in your possession it's worth giving it a try.

Dec 07, 2011

Too dark for my liking. Teenage sociopath falls in love, stalks and murders. Not badly written, though. Hard to finish because it was painful to see the inevitable ending unravel.

Nov 04, 2011

Unusual style.
A lot of youth slang.
The book is about first love. And also about the emotional "demons", which is not often visible but very dangerous.

Mar 04, 2011

It is a dark coming of age story about private school boys. It is disturbingly honest. It tells of actions and experiences, but underplays moral lessons and the consequences. It made me slightly uneasy, but in a good way.

Oct 14, 2010

I would have been a lot more satisfied if we found out what happened to Fall. The pleasure in this book was the prose, but it still needs to be going somewhere otherwise it’s just a lot of hot air. If it can be figured out by a re-read, well, unfortunately that’s not going to happen.

Shortlisted for the 2009 Giller Prize. I would have put this ahead of The Bishop's Man to win, but I wasn't impressed with any of the shortlist this year.

May 10, 2010

Contrary to popular opinion, I thought that this book was quite entertaining. It is definitely dark and the main character is definitely disturbed, but nonetheless I found myself quickly tearing through the pages to see what would happen.

I was not terribly fond of the ending...don't worry no spoilers. I thought that the character development was fantastic and I loved that it was set in Ottawa.

Mar 30, 2010

I reached about page 50 and gave up. I don't often abandon stories, but I just didn't want to deal with the stream-of-consciousness narration in the Julius sections for the next 300+ pages.

LMOH Jan 14, 2010

A difficult book to read. For the most part, it's told by two voices: two teenage male students (and roommates) at a prestigious boarding school. One is a sociopath, and the other is a typical teenager who speaks almost in a stream-of-consciousness way about food, sex, life, etc. and most especially about his girlfriend, Fall. Fall goes missing and the book describes the deterioration of the two boys' friendship.

Nov 19, 2009

Couldn't finish

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Sep 19, 2011

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Oct 14, 2010

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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