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Falling Paperback – 5 May 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (5 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330368893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330368896
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Jane Howard was the author of fifteen highly acclaimed novels. The Cazalet Chronicles - The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off and All Change - have become established as modern classics and have been adapted for a major BBC television series and most recently for BBC Radio 4. In 2002 Macmillan published Elizabeth Jane Howard's autobiography, Slipstream. In that same year she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Product Description

Amazon Review

To the delight of her many readers, Elizabeth Jane Howard has been producing prose of a subtlety, intelligence and feeling that has rarely faltered during the 50 years she has been writing. She is able to successfully straddle the disparate worlds of the popular and literary novel and this new book is among her most accomplished. Choosing a cynical and compromised first- person narrator, Howard introduces us to Henry Kent--a man looking for a woman--preferably one with a little money. Henry, in late middle age, is living without means on a dank houseboat. Getting by on his charm is no longer feasible and when writer Daisy Langrish buys a cottage close by, he sets his sights on her. But those around Daisy--her agent, her daughter--begin to ask questions about him. And the revelations they uncover have them very worried indeed. With a tone reminiscent of William Trevor, this is Howard at her most psychologically perceptive: her subject here is nothing less than an ambitious exploration of love, dealing in a dispassionate way with both the joys and the dangers. She demonstrates that the need to be first in someone's affections is a seductive but risky business and her powerful rendering of human emotion has the same scalpel-like precision as The Cazalet Chronicle. Many regard the latter as Howard's finest book, but this new volume is likely to change perceptions. Henry is fascinatingly characterised (we are allowed a nicely ambiguous attitude to him) and the slow but assured unwinding of the narrative grips with memorable force. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'This was a triumph for naturalism over formulaic drama that worked in Elizabeth Jane Howard’s novel’ -- Stephen Pile, Daily Telegraph, 12 March, about the ITV dramatisation of the novel

‘It was as mature, unshowy and skilful as its leading actors … Classy stuff, in short’ -- Kathryn Flett, Observer, 13 March, about the ITV dramatisation of the novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was superb - I could not put it down. EJH has conveyed so well the angst and absolute distress that so often accompanies the intense joy and anticipation of relationships. The agony of the disappointment felt by Daisy at Jason's treachery and at the end of the book were almost unbearable and so true to life for anyone who has ever been there. I finished the book in tears.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read most of EJH books, and was looking forward to this one. Especially as I had read about the timing of this book in her personal life. I do find her variable, but usually a good clear read. Beautifully crafted, and covering all the detail to create the atmosphere she aims at. This one started well, and had more promise than the last one of hers I read. Part way through, feeling positive, and wanting to check my thoughts against other reviewers, I read the reviews already on Amazon, and was surprised at some of the negative comments, which revealed themselves as justified.

I cannot believe the ending and "wrapping up" of the plot and it's conclusions. In fact, I had to read the denouement several times before I actually understood the fate of the other characters in Henry's life. It seemed so unclear, with so many names and explanations which appeared woolly, inconclusive, rushed and strangely written.

The rest of the book was measured, beautiful and well written. I just wonder what happened in the writers mind at the end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KOMET on 16 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
"Falling" is not only a novel that delves into the anatomy of a seduction. It is also masterful in that it gives the reader access into both the inner and outer lives of the two people involved: Henry Kent and Daisy Langrish. Elizabeth Jane Howard fleshes them out with the skill that Vermeer, Goya, Manet, and John Singer Sargent showed to such fine effect on canvas.

Henry, the son of a gardener who never showed him love, learned to be resourceful early in life by trusting to his own wits. He developed a proficiency for discerning the emotional states of women --- preferably ones with wealth and status --- and exploiting them for his own benefit. He had this charm and savoir faire, which he was not abash to speak of, from time to time, with the reader. (The author has most chapters titled either "Henry" or "Daisy", so the reader always knows who is occupying center stage.)

Daisy, who grew up with an aunt ("Jess") who gave her unselfish and unconditional love, had 2 failed marriages, and had turned to playwriting (and scriptwriting) for solace and as a way of making a livelihood for her and her daughter. Eventually, Daisy's work became her life. She learned to be self-sufficient and to view trust as a weakness. So when Henry first approached her at her country cottage about doing some gardening work for her, she was wary. But from the bleakness of an English winter to the warmth of the following summer, he steadily (not minding a few missteps, which he quickly covered up) worked his way into Daisy's heart and affections.

What is remarkable about the development of Daisy's and Henry's relationship over time is how subtly and cleverly it unfolds. The reader can see both sides clearly and make up his/her mind about Henry and Daisy.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mrs S.A. Rowbury on 12 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a satisfying book, both a page-turning narrative and a more serious book, full of insight and acute observation. Above all it is full of the sensory detail, truth of emotion, and sheer eye for meaningful detail which make Elizabeth Jane Howard such an extraordinarily compelling storyteller. I found this book shocking and horrific as well as beautiful and elegiac. It is a novel shining with compassion and love of life and humanity. I would thoroughly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Foster on 28 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
From the first line of the narrative, I found myself completely absorbed in EJH's Falling. Everyone will be intrigued by the storyline which unfolds like a thriller but explores deep emotional issues throughout.

The focal point of this book is relationships. Not only between the two main characters but also between the main characters and people in the periphery of the situation.

I enjoyed this so much I have read it 5 times.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Harrison VINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
A stunning example of the use of an unreliable narrator - Elizabeth Jane Howard's mastery and control of her readers' perceptions is stunning. A joy to be so well, and finely, controlled by a writer at the absolute top of her form.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 July 2000
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love Elizabeth Jane Howard's books and this one was no exception! I think she is an excellent writer.Infact I would go as far as saying she is one of the best around and definitely my personal favourite. This book has everything,great descriptions,totally believable characters and a plot that just sucks you in! I couldn't put it down.My only complaint is that EJH does not write fast enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Helen Scott on 19 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is typical Elizabeth Jane Howard stuff-interesting and complex characters (although not always likeable), nuanced dialogue and scene setting and well structured. I read this directly after working my way through the entire "Cazalets" books which I also enjoyed. This is more of a slow burner, but no less enjoyable for that. Reminds me of Elizabeth Bowen's best novels which I also love.
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