"A blistering thriller that follows a group of teenagers on an adventure through an apocalyptic America much like our own." ―Entertainment Weekly
Bestselling author of Before the Fall and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Noah Hawley (FX's Fargo) returns with a chilling and prophetic allegory of America as it is now and as it could be.It begins with a Song... In a country divided by pandemic, climate change, and incendiary rhetoric, a new plague infects American teens via social media: a contagious new meme spreading chaos and fear. Desperate parents look for something, anything to stop the madness. At the Float Anxiety Abasement Center, in a suburb of Chicago, Simon Oliver is trying to recover from his sister's tragic passing. He breaks out to join a woman named Louise and a man called the Prophet on a quest as urgent as it is enigmatic. Who lies at the end of the road? A man known as the Wizard, whose past encounter with Louise sparked her own collapse. Their quest becomes a rescue mission as those most in danger race to save one life - and the country's future. Anthem is rich with unforgettably vivid characters, as fast and bright as pop cinema. Noah Hawley takes readers along for a leap into the idiosyncratic pulse of the American heart, written with the playfulness, biting wit, literary power, and foresight that have made him one of our most essential writers.
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About the Author
Award-winning author Noah Hawley is one of the most accomplished auteurs and versatile storytellers working in television, film and literature. Over the course of his more than 20-year career, Hawley's work as a novelist, screenwriter, series creator, showrunner and director has garnered acclaim--winning an Emmy(R), Golden Globe(R), PEN, Critics' Choice, and Peabody Award. As a bestselling author, Hawley has published six novels: A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Other People's Weddings, The Punch, The Good Father, Before the Fall and the upcoming Anthem.
"It begins with the suicide of 15-year-old Simon's older sister, Claire, an act that presages a global wave of children's suicides, numbering 1,000 per day. Devastated by his sister's death, Simon is sent to Float, an adolescent center for anxiety. There he meets a Black teenager named Louise, who is 15, and a strange boy named Paul, who is 14 and calls himself the Prophet, claiming he receives messages from God, one of which asserts that He has a mission for Simon--the boy will be instrumental in building a new utopia. With that purpose, the three teens escape from Float. En route to their destiny, they set about rescuing a teenage girl, Bathsheba, from the so-called Wizard, billionaire E. I. Mobley, the sixth richest man in the world, who has a penchant for violating pubescent girls. Meanwhile, hordes of insurrectionists rise up to overthrow the government, launching a violent, epic Manichean war between good and evil. The apocalypse, it seems, is just around the corner. Yes, in Anthem, Hawley has written some of the most savage satire since Jonathan Swift, creating a ridiculous world in which only the young are viable. The plot-rich, cinematic story moves swiftly and compellingly, exciting reader interest and empathy. Anthem is truly an epic adventure."--Booklist (starred review)
PRAISE FOR BEFORE THE FALL:
"[A] terrific thriller . . . an irresistible mystery . . . a tale that's both an intriguing puzzle and a painful story of human loss."--Washington Post
"Savvy and absorbing . . . cathartic . . . BEFORE THE FALL is about the gulf that separates perception and truth."--Wall Street Journal
"A mesmerizing, surprise-jammed mystery that works purely on its own, character-driven terms."--New York Times
"A masterly blend of mystery, suspense, tragedy, and shameful media hype . . . a gritty tale of a man overwhelmed by unwelcome notoriety, with a stunning, thoroughly satisfying conclusion."--Publishers Weekly
"I started and finished BEFORE THE FALL in one day. That begins to tell you what kind of smart, compellingly dramatic read it is. So read it."--James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"This is one of the year's best suspense novels, a mesmerizing, surprise-jammed mystery that works purely on its own, character-driven terms . . . Mr. Hawley has made it very, very easy to race through his book in a state of breathless suspense."--New York Times
BEFORE THE FALL is a ravishing and riveting beauty of a thriller. It's also a deep exploration of desire, betrayal, creation, family, fate, mortality, and rebirth. It's one part Dennis Lehane, one part Dostoevsky. I was spellbound from first page to last; I haven't fully recovered yet.--Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours
Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages, but there's more to the novel than suspense. On one hand, BEFORE THE FALL is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel. On the other hand, it is an exploration of the human condition, a meditation on the vagaries of human nature, the dark side of celebrity, the nature of art, the power of hope and the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate.--Kristin Hannah, New York Times Book Review
Imagine that Agatha Christie had set a closed-room mystery on an airplane and included Wall Street and entertainment executive types in her lineup of suspects. Now imagine that airplane crashing into the Atlantic before the story even gets going....Mr. Hawley, the expert TV showrunner, obviously had the skills to pull this off.--New York Times
A pulse-pounding story, grounded in humanity.--Booklist (starred review)
BEFORE THE FALL is an astonishing, character-driven tour-de-force. The story is a multi-layered, immersive examination of truth, relationships, and our unquenchable thirst for the media's immediate explanation of unfathomable tragedy.--Karin Slaughter, #1 internationally bestselling author
BEFORE THE FALL kicks ass. A surefire summer read.
--Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage and City of Mirrors
This isn't just a good novel; it's a great one. I trusted no one in these pages, yet somehow cared about them all. BEFORE THE FALL brings a serrated edge to every character, every insight, and every wicked twist.--Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The President's Shadow
Noah Hawley soon veers his highly entertaining novel into an insightful look at families, revenge and media intrusion...Hawley invests the same care with a soupcon of dark humor into BEFORE THE FALL as he does on the TV series 'Fargo'...superb and cleverly constructed.--Associated Press
A riveting beach read.--People
[A] page-turner.--Vanity Fair
A remarkable and memorable accomplishment by any standard...BEFORE THE FALL is brilliantly constructed and wonderfully told.... a tale that will haunt you long after you read the last page, even as you wish the narrative was twice as long, for all the right reasons.--Book Reporter
Abundant chills and thrills...Noah Hawley's novel grabs you by the throat and won't let go...BEFORE THE FALL is storytelling at its best, as Hawley presents a range of diverse characters with rich histories... Seeds of doubt are cast in what is sure to be the summer book you won't want to miss.--The Missourian
In the hands of a writer like Noah Hawley, who knows how to build tension from mundane moments, it is a remarkable thriller that most readers will find difficult to put down...it moves toward a breathless ending.--The Washington Times
A complex exploration of human nature in an age of celebrity.--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Won [our] hearts and minds...it will be the big talker of the summer.--New York Post, "Summer's Hottest Reads"
[The] thriller of the summer.--The Baltimore Sun
The crash and the flashbacks recall Lost and Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer-winning novel, The Bridge Over San Luis Rey, and Scott's travails are the lot of every hero in a conspiratorial thriller going back to The 39 Steps.--Slate
BEFORE THE FALL will seize you on the first page and never let you go, as you follow the story of a plane crash and the complicated and confusing investigation about why it happened.--Vanity Fair, "The 5 Must-Read Books for the Last Five Weeks of Summer"
Excellent premise and clever plotting.--Florida Times-Union
A literary suspense novel with both a brain and a heart, Before the Fall is a searing examination of the nature of truth. With masterful character development and a well-sculpted plot line, Hawley takes us on a thrill ride of a story while raising vital questions about the role and responsibility of the media today.--Powells, "1 of 10 books sent to President Elect Trump"
A big-brained why-, how-, and whodunit.--GQ
This fast-paced suspense novel by the creator of Fargo will keep you on the edge of your seat.--People
Brimming with three-dimensional characters, BEFORE THE FALL leads the reader down rabbit hole after rabbit hole in an electrifying mystery.--PasteMagazine.com, "Best Novels of 2016"
Noah Hawley's BEFORE THE FALL isn't a typical mystery. Perhaps that's why I couldn't put it down.--TheAtlantic.com
A read-in-one-beach-day kind of book...A true page-turner, BEFORE THE FALL will leave you guessing until the final moments of the crash, and the final pages of the book.--Bustle
Like the successful screenwriter that he is, Hawley piles on enough intrigues and plot complications to keep you hooked.--Kirkus
"At the start of this grim, thought-provoking near-future thriller from Hawley (Before the Fall), five Wisconsin teenagers die by suicide in less than two weeks, each writing "A11" somewhere near where their bodies are found. The plague spreads nationwide and then internationally, creating a mind-numbing death count. Adults struggle to understand what's happening, some theorizing that the fatalities are a consequence of the Covid pandemic's social isolation. Many fear the suicides represent an "act of collective surrender" presaging the extinction of humanity. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Simon Oliver, who found his older sister dead from overdosing on the opioids their family business manufactured, is told by a fellow resident of the Float Anxiety Abatement Center near Chicago, who calls himself the Prophet, that Oliver is central to establishing a new utopia to be started by children to save the species and the planet. Oliver joins the Prophet and some others in escaping from Float to realize the Prophet's vision. From the ominous sentence that opens the main narrative ("The summer our children began to kill themselves was the hottest in history"), the author creates an all-too-plausible dystopia rendered believable through matter-of-fact prose. Hawley makes this sing by combining the social commentary of a Margaret Atwood novel with the horrors of a Stephen King book. Agent: Susan Golomb, Writers House. (Jan.)"--Publisher's Weekly (starred review)