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Fall of Frost

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The life of Robert Frost, brilliantly re-imagined by the author of the acclaimed "I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company"
Called "a spellbinding prose stylist"("Los Angeles Times"), Brian Hall drew extraordinary praise for his novel "I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company," in which he captured the personal lives of Lewis and Clark. Now he turns his talents to R
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 27th 2008 by Penguin Books
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Although many readers are annoyed by all the time jumps, I found them purposeful (if not sometimes distracting): Hall's use of snapshot images blur time, much like memories. I knew nothing of Frost before reading this and have to say the portrait is haunting and thorough. I appreciate that almost every chapter had a footnoted source to remind us that despite the dreamy non-linear narrative, all this is rooted in fact... which, of course, makes Frost all the more tragic. Hall conveys his rage, hi ...more
The craftsmanship is astonishing. The complex nature of the story is thrilling and captivating. The close attention that is necessary simply to understand the story line is so different from other stories. It's so outstandingly written that honestly, this book deserves more than 5 stars. It needs some shooting stars in that rating but sadly they don't have those. We need more authors like this out there in the world. I bought this book on a whim when I was 9 and I couldn't even understand what t ...more
I was lost almost the whole time plot-wise but between Frost's language and Hall's it hardly mattered.
For the second time since I began reading his work, Brian Hall has taken on a subject that sounded woefully unpromising to mew, and made a great novel out of it. I was enormously impressed by The Saskiad and by Hall's non-fiction, so much so that I wrote to him. He sent me back a charming letter and mentioned that his next book was to about the Lewis and Clark expedition. I inwardly groaned. Then, a few years later, I read I Should be Extremely Happy in Your Company, and was completely blown aw ...more
Several years ago I visited Robert Frost’s Franconia, New Hampshire farm and followed foot paths where he easily created poetry but as this story unfolded, I realized I didn’t really know much about him.

The book was a challenge as the short chapters continually alternate between different periods of time; it was tough to keep track of who was alive, not yet born, deceased etc, to keep reflections in perspective and the events in some sort of understandable sequence. Interspersed throughout too w
An incredibly capable writer. His scene with Khrushchev and a feverish Robert Frost is one of my favourites of all time. The use of second person narrative gets tedious, as does the jumping from decade to decade (particularly) in the first half of the book. But just when I was prepared to skip the occasional short chapter, Hall rose up and wrote every word as if it counted. Great conclusion. Don't read this novel if you're feeling your mortality close at hand, but try reading it if you become th ...more
I had a hard time with this book. I felt it jumped around too much. The chapters were very short, some only one sentance. They would sometimes go from 1915 to 2004 then back to 1931. They were little snipets it seemed of Frost's life or thoughts of his life at that point in time. Initially it didn't bother me as I felt I was getting a glimspe of the poet and the man but when you realize you're reading a novel it, at least for me, lost some of that mystique and I wondered how much of it was real ...more
Anna Loan-Wilsey
Frustrating is how I would describe this book. I liked the author's writing style and the subject, which I truly wanted to learn about, but the disconnect between chapters and the lack of chronology simply made it extremely difficult for me to read.
Shonna Froebel
Dec 11, 2012 Shonna Froebel marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
At 100 pages in, I gave up on this one. Hall has done extensive research using facts of Robert Frost's life whenever possible. The fictional part is what is going on in some private situations and in Frost's own head.
The book jumps around a lot through different time periods, back and forth, and I just found that more confusing than helpful to the plot.
All in all, this should be very character-driven, but the characterization didn't come alive for me.
I have so many books that I wanted to read th
I did not enjoy Brian Hall's "I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company" in which he used the voice of fiction to capture some of the personal stories of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Found it long-winded, boring and tedious to read.
However, found this book fascinating and motivating to read biographies about Robert Frost. While I've enjoyed Frost's works, never knew that he had six children - four of which predeceased him. " ... a portrait of one man's rage, guilt, generosity, paranoia, def
Ruthanne Davis
First off, I don't think there can be anything legitimately called a "fictionalized biography" which is what this book is. If a biography is fictionalized, it is a novel, albeit an historical novel...but does not qualify as a biography.
As to the book itself, it seems the author had an axe to grind with the esteemed poet he was writing about. He dwelt on Frost's failures and tragedies and not on his talent and the gift of his poetry that he bestowed upon the world.
Very disappointing, indeed.
Good in showing both man and poet; some troubling parts as Frost's brutal upbringing by a drunken father poisons his relationships throughout his life. The rapid shifts in time and place worked in the beginning but overloaded the end.

The Frost Family
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Elinor White (1872-1938)
Elliott (1896-1900)
Lesley (1899-1983)
Carol (1902-1940)
Irma (1903-1981)
Marjorie (1905-1934)
Elinor Bettina (1907-1907)

This was very different from anything I've read before. Although it is a novel - it is poetry throughout and I liked it. It was challenging to read - I really had to stay focused and keep an open mind. It jumped around between years, back and forth, back and forth and again. I enjoyed learning about Robert Frost and had no idea how much tragedy there was. I liked how the author presented the story of Frost's life. It was very creative.
Two stars for using Frost's poetry. I think the author tried to mold the poet into his own creation. Skipping back and forth between perspectives and timelines only added to the odd sense I got from reading this book. I read a lot of Frost, my favorite poem is 'Bereft' but the poems and this book seemingly almost had nothing in common except that they were in the same place at the same time. Very unfortunate.
David Sam
I was skeptical at first that a novel about Robert Frost would work, especially one in which time is fractured into episodes that cut back and forth across the poet's life. But this novel worked very well. It was well-researched, true to its subject, yet imaginative. There was a real development that seemed outside of or above time. Well-worth reading, especially if you like Frost's poetry, but even if not.
If you wanted a simple fictional biography to read this is not it. The author chose a different style of writing. The life stories move back and forth through the life of Robert Frost, some of it from letters, news articles or historical records. It requires attentive reading to keep up with characters and where they intersect in the life of Frost.
I didn't dislike this book but stopped reading it halfway through. It isn't written in a very linear manner, so it was hard for me to follow. I did enjoy learning more about Robert Frost's life. I did not know that he experienced so many hardships. I think I would rather read a straight biography than try to interpret this fictional account.
A historical fictional account of Robert Frost's trip to the U.S.S.R. plus a look back on his life and the tragedies contained within. The copy I got from the library was signed by the author and contained a business card within the pages with a scribbled address in the Bronx, NY. I thought that was a bit cool. I left it there.
I wanted to like this book and did read it through to the end; however, the nonlineal structure and change of person just did not work for me. Kudos to the author for taking the risk and using this unusual approach. Based on the reviews, it was obviously successful for some readers. I was just not one of them.
Hall enters Frost's life obliquely, linking vignettes and images and lines from poems both shopworn and still fresh. As such, I (or it) lost a little steam toward the end. I'd sort of like to see what he could do without source material, but I also really enjoyed this novel and his earlier one on Lewis and Clark.
Brian Hall must love poetry to have written this complex book. It was very sad, yet so well-written that the sadness was no obstacle to this reader's pleasure. The characterization of Robert Frost seems fair, sympathetic, actually, and the ending is beautiful: apt, grave, and moving.
Paulette Ponte
I read this book for my reading group and found that I really liked it. The style of writing was somewhat different, but I thought it left me wondering but never bored. I would like to read more about Robert Frost after reading this fictional account of his life (mostly based on facts).
Bookmarks Magazine

Reviewers generally praised this fictionalized biography of the great American poet. Most lauded Hall's novel as a beautiful and well-written, albeit sad, account of Frost's tragic life. Every critic mentioned the unconventional narrative structure

Neat approach, fascinating life. Probably would have liked a little more chronology, given the scope of Frost's life. It also probably would have helped if I had gone in more familiar with his work, and the relevant poetry scene.
One of the few books I couldn't finish. I just couldn't get into the disjointed prose throughout the book. I finally gave up about 200 pages into it. I would have enjoyed a more straight forward story of Robert Frost's life.
This was a fascinating concept - a fictional biography of Robert Frost, written mostly in short prose chapters. I was enjoying it, but not really getting into it. Going to put it aside for now and try again another time.
I actually didn't finish. I can appreciate what the writer was trying to accomplish, but the writing and format of the story (fragmented story lines jumping all over time and place) was tiresome.
Had the potential to be cool but was disappointing. The author had a hard time keeping the flow, to the point where it was distracting. The material itself was good but the presentation was lousy.
Is this how life replays itself as we get older? Memories pulled as if from a shuffled stack of cards, the chronology skewed, glimpses of past and present jumbled together...
Random scenes of the poet's life, culled from other bios. Read the poems (largely not included here) instead.
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