FallBook - 2009
Fall is the most beautiful. At night the bathrooms and beds hum with thoughts of her. Noel, a clever, ghostly loner, prowls the corridors on weekends, filling spare hours working on his body-building. Watching her, always knowing where she is and who she's talking to, he is certain that one day Fall will come to know him deeply. But like everyone else, she is drawn to Julius, the confident and magnetic son of the American ambassador to Canada.
At the beginning of their final year, the two boys room together and awkward Noel believes he is allowed into a new circle of friends. Julius grows physically closer to Fall, his eyes open to the moments around him, while Noel's boisterous enthusiasm shades into something darker as he imagines himself as a confidante to his popular roommate. While Julius moves through the daily joys and absurdities of adolescence, Noel recounts from a distance of several years what the consequences were of his efforts to enter Fall's life forever.
A disturbing and unforgettable story of guilt, memory and confused identity, Colin McAdam's second novel is a work of power, pitch-perfect observation and searing ambition. It confirms his status as a truly unique talent, one of the few living novelists capable of taking the modern novel and forging from it something startling and wholly new.
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Unimaginable disappointments had filled her body like water from a hose, and there she was, looking swollen and red behind the register of a store selling cigarettes and unnecessary treats. I must admit that blowing over the surface of my shock was the slightest breeze of a smile. I toyed with the idea of going in and talking to her. I liked the idea that simply by standing on the other side of the counter I could confirm my superiority to her. But I didn't like being reminded so vividly that we can never ultimately avoid the pugilism of life, the dumb constant blows of unpredictable moment that - fat, thin, one-eyed, or beautiful - make us all, ultimately, revolting to strangers passing our windows. They don't see us getting hit, they only see the aftermath. I didn't want the slightest knowledge of what put Sarah in that state.
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