Cornmaven's Reviews > In the Path of Falling Objects

In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew  Smith
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May 30, 10

bookshelves: high-school, adult, hs-adult
Read in May, 2010

This book is extremely complex, and will have a small young adult audience, but it's well worth the read. A road trip/Shakespearean tragedy of epic proportions would be a good description. Smith's writing style is fabulous, with tons of descriptive passages that are very detailed but not overly long. You really feel as if you are there on the journey.

The final scenes come in short bursts and build the tension very well. The reflective final paragraphs leave much to discuss.

This has an element of historical fiction in it, being set during the Vietnam War, and Smith uses the experiences of that war as a mirror to what is happening to every other character back 'stateside'. I found a lot of philosophical questions within the narrative, and if an AP English teacher could find a classic play/novel with similar questions to pair with this, it would make a great unit for upper HS classes.

Younger readers might find it incredulous that 17 year olds could embark on a trip like this and survive as well as they did. Late 60s 17 year olds certainly could - today's middle class kids, not so much, and that in and of itself is an interesting contrast to think about as you read.
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