Fall portrays the life of Noel, a maladjusted boarding school teenager. Noel is not popular or good looking, but he is cunning and obsessive.
When he shares a room with the school’s cool, bad boy, Julius, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship. A friendship Noel covets. Noel is also smitten with Julius’s girlfriend, Fallon (Fall), the school’s elite beauty.
When Julius is punished and can’t see Fall, Noel steps in as the go between. During this time, his infatuation with them both shifts to scary levels.
Then Fall goes missing and an investigation ensues.
Whether or not you enjoy Fall, likely depends on your purpose for reading. If you like a book that requires a bit of work on your part and don’t mind lead characters who are unlikeable, but nonetheless real, you may enjoy Fall.
There is some beautiful prose and I feel the author captured prep school boys life well. (All though being a woman who never went to prep school, who am I to say?)
Personally, I didn’t appreciate the avant-garde writing style. There are entire passages full of dialog written without quotation marks or tags. It took me a while to figure out the first scene in the book was actually from Julius’ point of view rather than Noel’s.
From a plot perspective, Fall has an eerie tone. As Noel slips further into his obsessions, his behavior and thoughts get edgier. We worry for all three of the main characters and wonder how far Noel will go.
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.