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Comment: Published by Granta Books in 1998. Paperback, 320 pages. The book is in almost perfect condition. The book may have been read previously and may show slight signs of wear. Your book will be securely packed and promptly dispatched from our UK warehouse. We provide excellent customer service. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!
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The Light of Falling Stars Paperback – 16 Jul 1998

4 customer reviews

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Paperback, 16 Jul 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (16 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862072027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862072022
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,413,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Described as a novel of loss, grief and survivor guilt, The Light Of Falling Stars is set in a small American town, Marshall, which has the incredible misfortune to be the site of a plane crash. Many of the victims are local people so practically everyone is personally affected. Lennon divides his tale into three Parts with the first introducing us to selected relatives waiting at the airport, and the couple, Paul and Anita, whose house was partly destroyed by a falling engine. Part One is undoubtedly the strongest. Heavily emotional, but without being mawkish or overly sentimental, there are excellent character studies and Lennon seems to have an real understanding of the agony of waiting. Even cameo appearances such as the airport staff and chaplain are perfectly crafted.

Unfortunately, after this promising start, the novel loses its way and veers off to focus on the collapsing marriage of Paul and Anita. Their storyline has the potential to be an interesting novel in its own right, but I didn't like the way it took over The Light Of Falling Stars at the expense of the ensemble piece for which we had been set up. Other characters do still get a look in and their tales are neatly concluded in Part Three, but after the wandering style of the middle section, I felt that their emotional impact had been lost. And the final scene is embarrassingly schmaltzy.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 July 1999
Format: Paperback
The synopsis of this book misleads the reader into thinking this will be a moving and contemplative novel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The two dimensional characters fail to convince. There seems to be no good reason for the angst of many of the people involved - for example, the sole survivor of the air crash, who chooses inexplicably to vanish, although there appears to be little in his past to warrant such a desire for escape, and the young couple who (almost) witness the crash - their marriage beginning to fall apart for no apparent reason. The portrayal of most of the families of the crash victims makes them appear mundane and thoroughly uninteresting. I found myself unable to sympathise or identify with them in any way, and was itching to skip whole sections with the more peripheral characters which seemed to contribute nothing to the plot as a whole. The book also veres dangerously into "cliche" territory, with one character discovering a young victim of the crash in the wood, and dramatically hearing his last words before he expires, conveniently before anyone else manages to arrive on the scene.
This book is a good example of a promising idea very poorly executed.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By on 29 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
For a first novel this book is magnificent; a seemingly effortless display of writing that moves from pathos to comedy to tragedy and beyond. A brilliant working of multiple narratives that criss-cross like railway tracks as the novel moves towards its close. Lennon tackles the big issues of grief and emotional upheaval with the same eloquence as he captures those everyday idiosynchrosies of life. Lennon is another writer showing us that the future of the novel is in the hands of the North Americans.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This book affects every nerve as it explores each aspect of grief unflinchingly. Told through the eyes of various individuals it expresses the harrowing nature and desperation epitomised in loss, but retains a poignant bravery that shines brilliantly and serves to offer hope to anyone who has ever struggled with the despair of losing another.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A First - A Must - A Gotta Read 11 Aug. 2001
By Haley Burke - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are some books that beg to be read. You're standing in the bookstore or the library, scanning titles and one catches your eye. You pick it up, hold it in your hands and flip open the front cover to scan the synopsis. You think, "Well, maybe." You open it up, check out the font, the spaces between the lines, the way the pages look and think, "Possibly." You turn to the first page and begin to read, "A plane crashed. It was August, a hot, dry day." And you continue reading as you head to the check out counter (or click your mouse to add it to your shopping cart). THE LIGHT OF FALLING STARS is one of those books for me. A first novel for J. Robert Lennon, I first read it three years ago, just before my first trip to Montana where this book just happens to take place.
The book carries you through the aftermath of the plane crash and its effects on the people in Marshall, Montana. You come to know them on a level that is both intimate and real through Lennon's descriptive and easy-flowing prose and dialogue.
This is a book you'll be glad you found.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Haunted Lives 25 Aug. 2002
By JessH - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"The Light of Falling Stars" is a debut novel by J. Robert Lennon. In light of events of September 2001, I found this book to be haunting and insightful. It follows several residents of the small town of Marshall, Montana after a plane crashes in some woods on the outskirts of town. Of the over 50 passengers kiled in the crash, 31 of them are from Marshall. But the book doesn't tell the tale of those who were killed, it instead focuses on those that they left behind.
Paul and Anita Beveridge live in a renovated fishing cabin on the edge of a National Wilderness area. They are a young married couple whose relationship is faltering. They are out in their backyard arguing on a hot August evening when the plane's engine clips the corner of the roof of their cabin and they witness the plane crashing in the nearby forest. Lars Gowgill is a young man who goes with his friend to pick his girlfriend, Megan, up at the airport after she spent the summer in Seattle with her family. Trixie Bogen is a lonely, old women who lives by herself in Marshall and she is awaiting the arrival of her ex-husband.
The novel explores the story of these characters in the aftermath of the crash. It shows how they handle the loss, how it effects each of them, and how they learn to continue with their lives after the tragedy. The story delves into love, loss, mourning, and relationships.
The writing in "The Light of Falling Stars" is simple and beautiful. The writing captured my attention immediately and kept me turning the pages. The novel offers an excellent exploration of human emotions in the aftermath of tragedy.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A moving examination of love, and life's chances, lost. 28 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was one of the most engrossing reads I've ever experienced. From the first page to the last I was thoroughly involved with the story and all the characters. I was very sorry when the book ended.
There are many things I liked about the book. The story is compelling and certainly more than holds the attention - the whole theme of the loss of love, the crushing disappointment of chances recognized too late and missed, and then the process of redemption that may or may not come later, is one of the most poignant imaginable in literature as far as I'm concerned. This author handles it magnficently well.
The characters represent a very diverse range of personalities, and they are developed very well by the author. I felt as if I knew them. I also liked them - they all came across as knowable, likable people.
Finally, many of the readers'reviews that I've read on have been critical of the ending of this book. The feeling seems to be that the endin! g is unsatisfactory and leaves too many things dangling and unresolved. While I can see where people are coming from with this, I nevertheless strongly disagree. Certainly it is true that things are not resolved with any sense of finality, and we wish we knew what was going to happen next in the lives of these people. However, each of the major characters in the book reaches a significant node, or turning point, in their life at the end of the book. In the last section of the book something happens to each of them that represents the possibility of a significant new beginning. Go back and look at the last three-four chapters and see if you don't agree. To me it seemed that the ending was extremely subtle and quite satisfying. In fact, any sort of neatly tied up ending to this story would simply not have been believable nor would it have worked. I think the author handled the ending perfectly.
In summary, I can't recommend this book enough - it is a superb piece of wo! rk.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Appreciation 2 Feb. 2000
By Tim Gifford - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It is easy to see why Lennon`s debut novel was likened to Anne Tyler`s work on its release; both share a vigorous intention to portray instinctive human behaviour in its base form, whilst also dealing with the pre-occupations of modern life. I found the book to be accessible despite the improbable circumstances involved and without undermining the tragedy of events such as plane crashes and so on. Probably the most entertaining quality of the novel, however, was the language. Lennon has created for himself a style that is refreshing but yet comforting. Its a book that requires no re-reading of paragraphs or re-scanning sentences, the best way to describe the style is as "organic". If you add to this style a catalogue of well placed metaphors, you have a book that is in need of being read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Deeply touching book 29 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a sentimental person, yet this book made me cry. Anyone who has ever lost someone in any way can relate to this book and mourn with the characters. What's so touching is how each character copes with their loss and strives to overcome it. A must-read. Absolutely captivating.
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