Author: Noah Hawley

Audio Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Posted November 15, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 6 Comments

Audio Review: Before the Fall by Noah HawleyBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Narrator: Robert Petkoff
Published by Hachette Audio on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Length: 13 hours
Source: Library
Audio | Goodreads

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 Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.


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On an uneventful August evening, a charter plane takes off from Martha’s Vineyard for what was to be a short flight back to New York. Two of the 11 people on board were wealthy and powerful so when it went down, it was more than the typical media disaster sensation. And, when two survivors suddenly emerged, they set off an even bigger and sometimes dangerous media event.

This story couldn’t be more timely, illustrating the actual facts of the investigation with the flawed media coverage as a backdrop. It chillingly points out how “journalism” has been reduced to creating the news instead of reporting. The author effectively tells the story from each passenger’s point of view leading up to that fateful moment, transitioning back to the present until we finally learn what really happened. All the while, putting the biased media coverage on embarrassing display. It was skillfully written and added so many layers to the story.

I really enjoyed this book and didn’t know the final outcome until it was revealed. It’s a fascinating story made even better by the fabulous narrator, Robert Petkoff. He really knew how to relate this story.


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About Robert Petkoff

Robert Petkoff is an award-winning American stage actor known for his work in Shakespearean productions and more recently on the New York City musical theater stage. Petkoff has performed on Broadway, the West End, regional theatre, and done work in film and television. Petkoff was featured as “Perchik” in the Tony award-nominated 1994 revival cast of Fiddler on the Roof but is perhaps best known for his role as “Tateh” in the 2009 revival of “Ragtime” on Broadway. Petkoff has also provided the voices for over two dozen audiobooks, winning awards for his reading of Michael Koryta‘s So Cold the River. Married to actress Susan Wands, Petkoff has lived in New York City for the last twenty years, and often performs in benefit concerts for theater-district-related charities.

About Noah Hawley

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 producer, writer, and showrunner on FX’s award-winning series, Fargo.

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