Daniel's Reviews > Free Fall

Free Fall by William Golding
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Jan 23, 2012

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Read from January 23 to 30, 2012

I wonder, at times, how much we fool ourselves when we look back on past actions and reflect upon their consequences. How objective can we be, given that we have to face ourselves and the memory of what we've done every day that we have left on this Earth? "How do you live with yourself?" That's a question from an outside perspective, a question that can't be anything but rhetorical; what else is one to do?

Here's a freaky question that I haven't delved into (more peeked at, the way Pandora might have before saying "Fuck it" and prizing the lid all the way): what kind of conclusions does a person with suicidal tendencies reach about his own actions? Does he always come up short?

Sam Mountjoy, the narrator of this story, is looking for a moment in his life when he chose one way over another. With each memory, he asks, "Here?" and until late in the story, the answer is, "No. Not here." The closer he draws to this desired demarcation, the more he shows a thread of guilt that grows thicker with the telling. The moment, once revealed, goes into both the when and the what, the latter act delivered with the gravity of an inhuman crime.

Golding's prose is dense and excellent, and while wrapped in its layers I could empathize with Mountjoy's queries and agonies. Once I took a step back, though, I felt like I did when I watched "Reefer Madness"--as in, no shit: Mary J makes you crazy enough to kill another person?

In the case of Golding's book, I wonder if he wasn't contending with his own hang-ups about sex and love and relationships that have one without the other. Mind you, I'm not curious enough to look into this (not even on a wiki level); I do hope, though, that he didn't go through anything like his narrator. Guy really needs to chill out.
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Reading Progress

01/23/2012 page 22
01/25/2012 page 122
48.0% "I'm beginning to suspect that our narrator is a narcissistic prick. I really hope he goes into something amazing that he did in his life, else I'm spending dozens of pages learning about how he discovered sexual frustration." 1 comment
01/26/2012 page 172
68.0% "Our protagonist is in the shit. I'm starting to suspect that we've caught up to the present, but there's plenty of pages left for another passage in this guy's life."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan I loved LOTF & had no idea he wrote other books. I will DIFFINETLY check this one out.

Judy I have now read four of his novels. He has not chilled out so far.

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