by Sukey HowardAugust, 2007
The afterworld of 9/11
Falling Man, Don DeLillo's spare, affecting novel, is not listening-lite, not the kind of book you would call a beach read, or, in this case, a beach listen. But don't let that stop you summer doesn't mean your brain is on vacation. Many novelists, some more successfully than others, have used the horrific events of 9/11, but DeLillo makes us see the day again and feel the trauma and disorientation and consider the world we have been left with and how we move on. And he does this with just a few characters: Keith, who makes it out of one of the towers on that bright blue morning, covered in ash, but unable to grapple with his post-9/11 life until he allows himself to remember it all in poignantly vivid detail; his estranged wife, Lianne, who opens the door to find him back in their apartment and more or less in her life; their young son who obsessively searches the sky for more planes sent by Bill Lawton ; Lianne's mother and her arch-leftist German lover who quarrel about the why of it all. John Slattery's exemplary reading maintains and matches the muted black-and-white mood, and the technicolor finale.