Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fall by Colin McAdam

Fall follows the life of Noel, an awkward teenager, who attends St. Ebury's private boys' school. He thinks he has gotten lucky in his senior year because he is rooming with the athletic, handsome and popular, Julius. Maybe things will finally change for him and some of Julius' popularity will rub off onto him. After awhile, Noel he develops an unhealthy obsession with both Julius and Julius's girlfriend Fall. When Fall disappears, the relationship between Noel and Julius dramatically changes. In fact, Noel's life starts to spin out of control; not exactly the changes he was hoping for.

I really enjoyed this book, but it was different from other books I've read. Colin McAdam offers a unique look at teenage angst. The story telling style was clever and a bit quirky. The author used many voices of the characters to tell the story, switching back and forth among Noel, Julius, Ant, Chuck and William. I really liked Noel and felt the most comfortable with the book when he was speaking. I think a lot of people could relate to him because of his desire to fit in.

While the use of the many voices made the story extremely interesting, it also made the story hard to follow at times. I had a little trouble trying to figure out who was talking. Even when I got used to the style I still had trouble following the story through some of the characters. The character of Julius was especially hard to follow. He doesn't appear to be able to complete a single clear thought or sentence. However, his "voice" really gave insight into his character. I thought it was wonderfully done.

I generally don't like making comparisons between books or characters. However, in this case I will. Fall reminded me of Catcher in the Rye and Noel reminded me of Holden Caulfield. Both of these books were original and both of these characters were misunderstood teenagers. While I did find these similarities, the stories and styles are very different.

For a more information about the book, visit the Penguin Canada website.

I'd definitely recommend this book to those looking for an interesting, solid, Canadian novel.

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