Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Tour: Fallout

I've just finished the last words of Sadie Jones' Fallout, and I find myself much more satisfied than I had expected. I'm thinking more than usual about these characters I've met, their actions and motivations, and I actually want to know them deeper. And considering Jones has already crafted a detailed character novel, that's hard to ask.

Fallout is set in London in the early 1970s, mainly focusing on Luke Kanowski, a brilliant young playwright on the cusp of success. He landed in London by a chance encounter with Paul and Leigh, two strangers sent by fate, leading him away from his emotionally distressing childhood. He has since immersed himself in the theater world, alongside Paul and Leigh, where he can pour emotion into his characters as a writer but barely shows as much in real life. Emotionally incompetent is how many may describe Luke, until a passionate affair with an equally damaged actress, Nina, consumes him.

Every facet of this story that would normally turn me off somehow redeemed itself and kept me intrigued. For example:

- I didn't feel compassion for any of these characters.
+ But they were so deeply drawn and so linked together, I needed to see what they would do to each other.

- Luke is soooo that jerk of a 20-something that has no concept of other people's feelings—such an obnoxious type too familiar to like.
+ But his emotional development kept you somehow sympathetic to this character. 

The writing is simple, but it makes it easy to get in the psychology of all the story's characters. Though some seem more background than others, Jones does a fabulous job of sharing enough so you'll understand at least some of their motivations. Luke was center stage, but they all had nearly equal treatment. (Leigh was the most intriguing and least developed to me, though; I wanted more of her story.)

The pacing is on the slow side, though I was interested enough to get through it rather quickly. I was thinking that this is a book I might have a hard time convincing others to pick up. It's for a particular type of reader—how do you sell a character story with not-so-likeable characters and little plot action? I think, though, for the right person, this is a fascinating look at people, their relationships, and how the fallout from individual experiences is rarely isolated.

This post is a stop on the TLC Book Tour of Fallout! You can visit the tour page to learn more about the book, its author, and find a list of the other tour stops. If you're intrigued, be sure to check out all the other blogger opinions, continuing through the end of this month!

1 comment:

HeatherTLC said...

I'm glad to see that this book surprised you in a good way! Thanks for being a part of the tour.