Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fallout” as Want to Read:
Fallout
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fallout

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,192 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Sadie Jones, the award winning, bestselling author of The Uninvited Guests and The Outcast, explores the theater of love, the politics of theater, and the love of writing in this deeply romantic story about a young playwright in 1970s London.

Leaving behind an emotionally disastrous childhood in a provincial northern town, budding playwright Luke Kanowski begins a new life
...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Harper
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fallout, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tytti Onko sinulla valittuna e-kirja? Siinä oli laitettuna 30 sivua, viimeinen numero oli kai tippunut pois. E-kirjalle annetaan pituudeksi 307, joten korja…moreOnko sinulla valittuna e-kirja? Siinä oli laitettuna 30 sivua, viimeinen numero oli kai tippunut pois. E-kirjalle annetaan pituudeksi 307, joten korjasin sen siihen.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,192 ratings  ·  164 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Fallout
switterbug (Betsey)
The reviews are divisive on this latest novel by Sadie Jones, and I can understand that. It is a very British book with a Hollywood ending, although, in her defense, the author created a plot that had a natural and organic conclusion. The ending was inevitable, so it wasn’t hamstrung. But, I agree that it could have been arranged in a less predictable outcome. The plot itself wasn’t the aim, though; it was the authentic and gimlet eye that Jones possesses when it comes to all things theater, and ...more
Bettie
May 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
BABT

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042zg79

Description: Hayley Atwell reads Sadie Jones' acclaimed new novel set during the birth of radical theatre in 1970s London; a world in which the four central characters swirl, ambitious, eager yet all facing their own demons.

Luke aspires to be a playwright and, after meeting would-be producer Paul and the feisty Leigh, the three end up flatmates in London. There, they plan to revolutionise the face of theatre, but when they encounter Nina, a damaged y
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
In 1971, Luke Kanowski leaves the small town of Seston for London with a few bags of his possessions, including his record player and notebooks. A long-time theatre appreciator who's never seen a play, it takes a chance encounter with two people about his own age, Paul Driscoll and Leigh Radley, to motivate him into quitting his clerk job and leaving his parents behind to embark on his own life. His mother has been locked up in the mental asylum in Seston since Luke was five; he visits her often ...more
Tuti
(read in german translation) loved everything about it! excellent storytelling - very interesting subject - four young people: luke, a future author, paul a future producer, his girlfriend leigh, and nina - a very unstable young actress - trying to find their way in the london theatrescape of 1972. great, multilayered characters, interesting, complex relationships - all told in beautifully carved prose and inspired scenes. looking forward to reading in again in the original! highly recommended.
Catherine Hanrahan
Fallout is the story of four young people trying to make it in the world of experimental theatre in 1970s London. In a chance meeting in his Lincolnshire village, Luke Kanowski meets the fiery Leigh Radley and Paul Driscoll on their way to meet a playwright. Its the impetus that Luke needs to escape his dull life in an office job and run away to London and immerse himself in the theatre world. He's leaving behind a mother who has been in an asylum nearly all his life, and a father who is slowly ...more
William
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm surprised this book has not been rated higher. My ratings tend to be lower than the rest of the goodreads group, and I very much enjoyed reading "Fallout." To me, it had the readable style and good storytelling of JoJo Moyes, with some of the strong writing and eye for detail one finds in Jane Gardam's books.

For the most part, "Fallout" has vivid characters and unusually natural dialogue. I found Luke an appealing protagonist, and many other characters (for example, Tony Moore) were memorabl
...more
S.P. Moss
The last book I read from Sadie Jones - 'Small Wars' - was terrific, so I was looking forward to this one. It all started off well, with some fine, thoughtful writing and intriguing characters. The underlying themes of love and deceit against the backdrop of the theatre in 70s London promised a novel to really get stuck into. But, somehow, my attention got waylaid around the middle of the book. I can't put my finger on what was wrong - the atmosphere was superbly portrayed, so that you could tas ...more
Bonnie Brody
Mar 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a theater group and unrequited loves. It is poorly written and very predictable.

Luke is brought up by a cold father and a mother who is very mentally ill. She has been institutionalized for most of Luke's life. Despite this, he loves her very much and feels very close to her. He tries to go to her hospital as often as he can to see her. He decides, however, to emigrate to England where he hopes to make his way as a playwright. There he meets Paul, Leigh, and Nina.

Luke and P
...more
Jon
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several years ago I read the novel which preceded this one--The Uninvited Guests, and I gave it five stars, completely won over by its kind-hearted and strange whimsy. This one almost seemed as if it were by a completely different author. It's the story of four very young theater-folk in London in the early 1970s, with backstory and and a small jump into the future in the closing pages. Mostly I didn't particularly like or believe the characters, didn't understand or identify with their emotions ...more
Annette
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this novel, the characters particularly were refreshingly transgressive and not the usual tropes found in women's fiction. This author is so emotionally accurate about the troubles of each of her characters that they feel real. The setting really spoke to me, having spent my younger years involved with the theatre and being a Londoner too. I can imagine some people not getting this book for the exact same reasons why I loved it.

The only downside would be the final third of the novel fel
...more
Lauren
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool book about a man searching for what he really wants to do in the world of theater. His clumsy way in life makes him suddenly end up in London with people he hardly knows and he trails after them trying to make a life for himself and follow this passion he has for plays and writing and the drama world. Sympathetic character ,as we all at some time wander looking for where we fit in and how we can follow our dreams.
April Andruszko
Probably 3.5 stars. There were parts that I really liked. Luke was an interesting character. The descriptions of theatre land were enjoyable. However I found that I wasn't rushing to pick it up though once I did I was engrossed particularly in the first third and the last third though I did think the ending relied on too big a coincidence. ...more
Roger Brunyate
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Close Encounters

The novel opens in 1975, with an Englishman in New York. We learn that he is not wanted at rehearsal, so he has something to do with the theater. We also learn that his is thinking about a woman, wondering if she will show up. Who is he? Who is she? And will they indeed meet? The track record of the book makes this unlikely, since it is constructed around a series of near misses.

It immediately goes back to 1961, showing parallel glimpses from the lives of two pre-teen children. L
...more
Sarah Beth
I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from HarperCollins.

Immersed in the theater world of London in the 1970s, Fallout focuses on playwright Luke Kanowski, who finds himself immersed in two love triangles just as his career begins to take off. A chance encounter while asking for directions leads Luke to a great friendship with Paul Driscoll, an aspiring producer who becomes his best friend, and Leigh Radley, Paul's future girlfriend. "'Luke Kanowski,' said Luke and he had the impres
...more
Cynthia Archer
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book out mainly for the cover from my local library. I hadn't heard of it nor had I read any of the author's previous novels. I'm really glad that I took the chance since this was the best book of the three that I chose that day.
"Fallout" is a very well-written story about youth and the challenges of making your way in life. Three young people who met randomly wind up becoming roommates and business partners. They struggle to make their mark in the world of London theater in the 1
...more
Stephen Goldenberg
I can't remember what made me put this on my 'to read' list. Some good reviews, the popularity of the writer's previous novels? Most likely it was the setting in London's fringe theatres of the early 1970s. And Sadie Jones does a good job of bringing to life that particular time and place. The problem is that this is just not my type of book. I had very little interest in what seemed to be fairly shallow characters (I was unconvinced by their artistic creativity, especially Luke's supposedly gro ...more
Kim
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of four young people, Luke, Paul, Nina and Leigh, and is set mainly in the 1960s. Each of them is trying to make a success of life in the world of theatre, each trying to escape their own troubled upbringing. Leigh is attracted to Luke but ends up in a relationship with Paul while Luke pursues a string of brief 'flings' before becoming infatuated with struggling actress, Nina (who unfortunately is a married woman). Each of these realistic (and not always sympathetic) characters ...more
Steph's Romance Book Talk
This book was on the fence for me being a 3.5 stars. I listened to it and it went full circle in the dynamic of the main character Luke. The minor characters I felt a little left off with not gaining complete closure for Paul, Leigh, and Nina. Otherwise, the storyline rose and fell smoothly and I enjoyed it at times, felt frustrated with things that were going on, and was involved with how these four individuals evolved with each other.

2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge: #5 - Europe

There will be
...more
Minka Guides
Firstly, thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm afraid this book was just a bit too slow for me. I really liked the premise and the world of the story, but couldn't bring myself to read any further than a quarter of the book. Unfortunately, not enough had happened to the characters by this point to make we want to explore their story further, especially considering the book is over 400 pages.

It's unfortunate because I felt like there
...more
Susan
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed all of Sadie Jones's previous novels. This one, however, was disappointing. Maybe the London theater scene and its people are too far from the contexts I can relate to. Maybe the characters all seemed on a stage themselves, at a distance, with no inkling of their interior lives. I just couldn't like any of them much or get a feel for their motivations in relationships, only for their devotion to theater. ...more
Nancy Crang
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, maybe a bit predictable, but written really well and I loved the relationship between Leigh, Luke and Paul. It really captured the early 70s. I despised Nina's controlling mum and then her husband who has his own secrets. 4.5 stars for me ...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
Hayley Atwell reads Sadie Jones's acclaimed novel set in 1970s theatreland.
...more
KatRi
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was captivating, the style of the text readable and I very much enjoyed reading the book but I doubt it will be a memorable reading experience.
Marja
I don't remember why I have added this to my TBR list. I remember that there was some hype over this book around the time it was published, which may explain why it was on my TBR. Nevertheless, I've wanted to read this for a few years and I even own a copy. Have to say, now that I read this, I don't see what the fuss was all about. I found the writing contrived and the story oftentimes kind of revolting. I can't even pinpoint what I found so disagreeable about this book, but I did. It was probab ...more
Joanna Dean
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Dollar Tree find, and I enjoyed it, although it wasn't perfect. I think she's a wonderful wordsmith. Very near the beginning, she describes Luke's outside life while he works at the paper mill - all his bookreading; 'he read anything, everything', his writing of poems and plays, his 'intense joy of blissful escape', 'he was a scientist, he could travel.' Loved this - totally was there as she described this. Another example is a nearly run-on sentence describing Luke and girls that was pr ...more
Birgitt Krumboeck
I am really divided about this book. Yes, the author captured the heady atmosphere of the theater world and life in London in the early 70s. Yes, it was about two damaged stars colliding (Luke and Nina)… and the toxic fallout that causes. However, I could somehow not get into the plot and put it aside during my first attempt at reading. Then, I kind of forced myself to read it, and am ultimately glad that I did because I did not expect it to end the way it did. Somehow, the book reminded me of A ...more
Jayne Charles
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From a slow and frustrating start, this built up to a startlingly powerful story. I loved it. So much time and energy is invested in the central characters that as time goes by you get a real sense of connection with them, and nostalgia as the novel draws to its close and characters reflect on the past. The writing is intelligent, literary enough but not obstructively so, and the evocation of 1970s theatre was impressive. I'm not sure why it's called "Fallout", but I'm sure there must be a good ...more
Sharon Falduto
This book had such great promise. Artistic types in London in the early 1970s forming a theater group? Sign me up!

Too bad every character was too self-important and dreary. And the book was nearly halfway done before it picked up steam.
Paul
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 and 1/2 stars out of 5. Having spent a lot of time in the theatre world myself, I found this story to be quite interesting.
Poppy99
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be dull. I did not care about any of the characters. I did not understand the parents backstory (mother in asylum etc). A really strange and somewhat cold read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Wild Laughter
  • All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson
  • The Man Who Wouldn't Die: A Novel
  • City of Spies
  • Talk to Me
  • The Swimming Pool
  • Quentins
  • Tarhapäivä (Antti ja Paavo Pasanen #2)
  • Small Pleasures
  • Finding Henry Applebee
  • Proud of Me
  • One August Night
  • Royal
  • The Confession
  • Ikimetsien sydänmailla (Metsän kansa, #1)
  • Kaikki elämästä(ni)
  • The Darkest Secret
  • Kesämyrsky
See similar books…
285 followers
was born in London, England, the daughter of a poet and an actress. Her father, Evan Jones, was born in Portland, Jamaica in 1927. He grew up on a banana farm, eventually moving to the United States, and from there to England in the 1950s. His most widely acclaimed work is "The Song of the Banana Man". Sadie's mother, Joanna Jones, was featured as an extra in various television series, including ...more

News & Interviews

  If you listen to NPR regularly, you’ve likely heard the voice of Shankar Vedantam, the longtime science correspondent and host of the radio...
16 likes · 3 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »