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Before the Fall

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  122,048 ratings  ·  12,977 reviews
On a foggy summer night, eleven people—ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter—depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter Scott Burroughs and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and power ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  122,048 ratings  ·  12,977 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
I've read some pretty great books this year; so far I've been able to track a total of 107 since January 1st. A few have been total duds, most have been an enjoyable read but utterly forgettable; however, there have been a select few that I have read in 2016 that I would place in a special bracket-memorable, enjoyable, unique and of the highest recommendation. Before The Fall was one of those books. I'll be thinking about this one for months to come; there is something really intriguing about re ...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, recommended
It's difficult for me to recommend thrillers to non-thriller readers. I grew up reading them and so have a high tolerance for the genre conventions. You know, men named Jack or Tom who will later be played by Denzel Washington or Liam Neeson. Shadowy figures from whichever country your grandpa thinks is sketchy. We need YOU, civilian man with no training, to help us with this investigation, or it will all fall apart. Machine guns referred to by brand, in case you were in the market yourself. A c ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
There were a lot of things I didn't like about this book. It d....r......a.....g.....g.....e.......d. The author postured and pontificated. Take the ordinary household toaster......there is a lengthy passage covering what the household toaster means to different people - to the engineer, to the cook, to itself. I mean really? It brought nothing to the book (except, in my case, dissatisfaction), and there was a great deal of this type of writing.

I found myself mid-chapter wandering off to read th
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
First, let's talk about the cover of Before the Fall because this has to go down as one of the worst book covers of 2016, maybe the decade, maybe of all time. I checked this book out three times from the library and the first two times I couldn't even bring myself to read it. I would pick it up, look at that bland, lifeless cover with big, stupid letters and oh boy check it out the word "fall" looks like it's actually falling and the whole thing really just looks like a giant letter T and the co ...more
Elyse Walters
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On sale today for $3.99 (Kindle special)...........I'm jealous! lol.... I paid full price! The movie rights have been signed. So---if you have been considering this book --the price is good at the moment.
I'm sure the price will go back up again just before the movie comes out. (we are on to you, Amazon)...ha!

"No French philosopher living or dead could convince Jack LaLanne that the
problem of man were existential. It was a matter of will, of perseverance, of mind over
matter. Wher
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
A small private jet is leaving Martha's Vineyards, on it is one of the richest guys in politics (I never figured out what he really did) and his wife and two small children. Also included are another rich guy who has been doing some shady business deals and his wife, a poor painter that rich guy number one's wife be-friended and offered a ride and the crew and bodyguards. Sixteen minutes after the plane takes off it crashes.

There is only two survivors, the painter, Scott and the young boy. He sw
Diane S ☔
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A plane crash, eleven on board, only two survive, Scott a painter with a troubled past and the young boy, J.J. that he manages to save. Like when the Malaysia aircraft went down, there is speculation about why, who. Controversial figures were onboard this plane, could they have been targeted? Is Scott a hero or villain? Either way he has lost his right to privacy.

Not an edge of your seat page turner but rather a behind the scenes look at the talking heads we see on our television screen after ev
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
The main reason I wanted to read this is because I’m such a huge fan of the TV show Fargo. Noah Hawley is the main producer and writer responsible for transforming the great Coen brothers’ movie into something that has risen to the top of my viewing list even during this Golden Age of Television which has filled so many DVRs. If you haven’t seen it yet then watch it right now. Go on. We’ll wait. It’s only two seasons of ten episodes each so it won’t take you that long. Then you’ll be ready to pr ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, net-galley
I received a copy of Before the Fall by Noah Hawley through NetGalley. My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and to Noah Hawley for the opportunity.

"Everyone is from someplace. We all have stories, our lives unfolding along crooked lines, colliding in unexpected ways."

When a private jet goes down into the vastness of the ocean on its way to New York, eleven people are caught up in the buzzing headlines of that ill-fated day. Neither fame nor plush leather seats could buy you another day in this
A copy of this was furnished to me by Net Galley in exchange for a review.

This is a story of the crash of a private airplane into the ocean, the two who survived, and the ones who did not. More mystery than thriller, it focuses on what brought down the plane, the arrogance of money, and the sleazy journalism tactics employed while reporting the story.

Remember when the news on television really was news, with stories confirmed by more than one source and reported in a professional manner? It se
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Scott thinks back. The takeoff, the offered glass of wine. Images flash through his mind, an astronaut’s vertigo, a blare. Metal shrieking. The disorienting whirl. Like a movie negative that has been cut and reassembled at random. It is the job of the human brain to assemble all the input of our world – sights, sounds, smells – into a coherent narrative. This is what memory is, a carefully calibrated story that we make up about our past. But what happens when those details crumble? Hailstones o ...more
LA Cantrell
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent surprise, this book that is more observational philosophy than mystery! I was expecting your average three star thriller surrounding the events of a plane crash, but this story was really about the meaning of appearances versus reality.

Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch, and Larry King are morphed with other contemporary news personalities to essentially slur the 24-hour news cycle and all those who feed its machinery. King's infamous suspenders and Murdoch's phone-tapping allegations
Debbie "DJ"
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, thriller-mystery
Funny how a book can start out so good, still have me interested half way through, then go downhill. I was fascinated by the plane crash, and how two people managed to survive. The story took an interesting twist as one of the survivors is questioned, could he have had something to do with it? What ensues is a character study of the adult members of the plane. I didn't really mind this, but felt the thrill fading. A lot of interesting questions were asked in regard to hero worship and how societ ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This is a haunting, soul-stirring novel of a tragic plane crash that leaves nine people dead and two survivors. There are so many layers to this novel, it is difficult to describe without spoiling the entire story.

In some summaries I have seen, Scott Burroughs, the survivor who saves the life of 4 year old JJ, is portrayed as a has-been, or a down-and-out painter, and so forth. This isn’t true. Granted, Scott has lived a life overflowing with addictions, bad habits, and the lack of moral sense t
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have read some really good books lately and this is one of them. BEFORE THE FALL by NOAH HAWLEY was an enjoyable and a memorable read which I will be thinking and talking about in the future when sharing this book with my family. Books get shared with my sister, daughter-in-law & my mom! It makes me so happy to be able to share my books with others! That is part of the excitement for me when I have read a really good book.

Part One of BEFORE THE FALL was an absolutely fantastic and on the edge
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A private plane with 11 people on board crashes into the ocean. There are two survivors, recovering alcoholic and painter, Scott, and a young boy, JJ, the last of an extremely powerful media family. We are given backstories of the crew and passengers, there is intrigue and all manner of unsubstantiated claims are made to fuel the never ending fires of the story. There is a satirical take on the realities of today's media and how it operates. It takes no account of truth nor of how a person's lif ...more
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one novel I truly wish I could rate 3.5 Stars. There were parts I could not put down and others I could have passed by, but, bottom line, had to find out what happened.

BEFORE THE FALL begins with the crash of a private plane and the heroics of one man, then reverts to give background stories of each of the 11 passengers and crew members telling how they came to be on the downed aircraft. With each story, the reader is provided with possible clues of what caused the disaster.

Scott's story

Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is no doubt in my mind that Noah Hawley has a summer blockbuster on his hands. This is the kind of book that I would recommend, without qualification, to both my literary friends and those who simply love to get lost in a page-turning thriller.

The framework of the book is simple enough: one summer night, a plane takes off carrying the head of a major television network (think: Fox News) and his family, a soon-to-be-indicted wealthy money launderer and his wife, a security detail, the crew
More character study than story, this was a very interesting book. The shell is a mystery and each chapter focuses on a character or two until everything comes together. While it does get overly poetic at times, I think it serves the story and I was satisfied with both the journey and the outcome.

One of my favorite things was its honest portrayal of pop culture and the media and how, together, they skew our view on things with no evidence - just a negative spin on the facts. I found myself wonde
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The first 50 pages of this book were FANTASTIC. Seriously thrilling stuff.

But after that great first section, it was a mixed bag.

Before the Fall is the story of a private plane that crashed in the ocean after leaving Martha's Vineyard. Who was on the plane? Why were they there? What caused the plane to crash? What happens to the survivors?

If you ever saw the show "Lost," which also featured a plane crash, the structure of this novel reminded me of those episodes, in that the book jumps back and
When I bought this a few months back - I didn't know it was from the creator/writer of the TV series' Fargo, which would explain the humour throughout the book.

A private aircraft departs from Martha's Vineyard to New York in foggy conditions; with eight passenger's and three crew members on-board the Ospray 700 SL, which was manufactured in Kansas. The flight under normal conditions should take about twenty nine minutes but, sixteen minutes into the flight, the aircraft crashes into the Atlantic
Larry H
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Many thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for making it available!

It's an evening in late August, a little foggy but otherwise uneventful. On Martha's Vineyard, the private plane belonging to David Bateman, the power behind one of the country's major cable news networks, is scheduled to take off and head back to New York. David and his wife Maggie, and their two young children,
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing

There is a mystery to solve in discovering what caused the airplane crash, but, despite the blurb calling it a thriller, I think this book is more of a character study of the occupants and crew of the downed airplane. Two of the occupants were multi-millionaires who were flying with their families, one was a struggling painter given a ride at the last minute, and the rest were the crew.

We get to meet all of them in these pages, their ordinary last days made poignant by the fact that we know they
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
I read much of this and listened to some of it on audio. To me it felt very much like a screenplay. I kept thinking of Lost, more because of the backstories than the plane crash. All tell and no show, I didn't find this overly compelling and I found the segments with the "newscaster" very realistic but exhausting. 3 stars. ...more
I'm a little late to this party, as this was one of 2016's "it" thrillers. This is written by Noah Hawley, who in addition to writing four other novels, is also an award winning television screenwriter, and wrote and produced the awesome tv series Fargo.

As is quite evident by the book's cover, Before the Fall tells the mysterious story of a plane crash, in a private jet on its way to New York over the Atlantic ocean. Why did the plane crash? Was it a conspiracy? Does it have to do with one of t
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well written, suspenseful and full of surprises.

Before the Fall is a book containing extremely rich (no pun intended) characters, most of whom are quite flawed; some are likeable (Scott, Eleanor & Gus), some are detestable (Bill & Doug, etc.). Throughout the book, everyone is trying to figure out who or what caused the crash, That is the mystery.. Who are the good guys? Are there good guys or is everyone so fatally flawed that it makes them sinister? Scott at first, is portrayed as the hero tho
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-crime
An enjoyable, well written and engaging novel by the author of The Good Father. Noah Hawley gets characterization and the construction of a tight and suspenseful plot.

A private plane crash on its way back from Martha’s Vineyard, a man and a small boy survive out of the eleven passengers on board and so the media circus begins and the search for answers.

The story is told from multiple viewpoints which works really well and keeps the story fresh and entertaining. The media coverage of the events
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, suspense
A private jet carrying eleven people crashes into the ocean on its way from Martha's Vineyard to NYC. Against all odds, one of the passengers, Scott Burroughs, a fine art painter, survives the crash, finds the one other survivor, the four year old son of the executive who chartered the plane, and starts to swim ten miles to shore with the boy.
Something brushes against his leg.

He freezes, starts to sink, then has to kick his legs to stay afloat.

Shark, he thinks.

You have to stay still.

But if he s
What a waste of time. The first 3 chapters were gripping, but that's all the book had. Then it just kept slopping on and on to its anticlimactic boring ending. ...more

Multimillionaire David Bateman - who runs a conservative TV news station (something like Fox news) - charters a private plane to fly his family from their vacation retreat in Martha's Vineyard to their home in New York City.

On board are:
Bateman, his wife Maggie, and their children Rachel (9) and JJ (4).

Gil, the family's head of security, whose firm was hired after a kidnapping.

Ben and Sarah Kipling, wealthy friends of the Batemans. Ben is a Wall Street operator who's being investigated for il
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Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, PEN, Critics' Choice, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. He has published four novels and penned the script for the feature film Lies and Alibis. He created, executive produced, and served as showrunner for ABC's My Generation and The Unusuals and was a writer and producer on the hit series Bones. Hawley is currently executive produc ...more

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