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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noon's dreamscape falls prety to its own disease
My love for certain Brit writers brings me to Amazon's UK site, as I don't care to wait for Americanized versions, which are often released many months later, if at all. (Gotta love the Internet for these things!) Anyway...
Being a huge fan of Noon, I had some high hopes for this book, his first apparently 'real' novel in a while. And indeed, as I kept reading, I was...
Published on 26 Mar 2003

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spaced
If you thought that Jeff Noon couldn't possibly delve deeper into a psychological environment, think again.

I found FOOC to be the darkest of all of his novels, but unfortunately not as bold. There is a lack of concrete plot, which although is understandable given the nature of what the book is meant to bring across, it ultimately leaves the reader wandering...
Published on 8 May 2003 by the_original_mr_e


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noon's dreamscape falls prety to its own disease, 26 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Hardcover)
My love for certain Brit writers brings me to Amazon's UK site, as I don't care to wait for Americanized versions, which are often released many months later, if at all. (Gotta love the Internet for these things!) Anyway...
Being a huge fan of Noon, I had some high hopes for this book, his first apparently 'real' novel in a while. And indeed, as I kept reading, I was drawn deeply into it. The lead players in the story are united in a quest to retrieve pieces of a mirror that possesses some type of power, related in some way to a sickness that has befallen humanity. I won't even try to describe it, but to put it simply, the disease affects peoples' ability to process 'reality' - the world around them - in many ways, and to varying degrees. The disease is held in check, but only somewhat, by a drug called Lucidity.
Falling Out of Cars is, I suppose, a 'road novel' as much as any, a succession of destinations, scenes, and locales, each progressively more bizarre than the last. Some of the scenes portrayed within will remain forever etched in my mind, especially one in which the protagonist enters a theater to retrieve a piece of a mirror (the driving moitvation for the group's ongoing quest and the reason for the road trip). As any reader of his past work would expect, Noon's put some truly brilliant, original ideas to paper here, as always. I could rip out a couple of my favourite chapters and feel I'd gotten my money's worth.
Falling Out of Cars succeeds in many ways, but for this reader, it lacked the one thing that a book of this nature so desperately needs after such a long, strange quest: closure. A 'journey's end.' I understand that not all novels require a Hollywood ending, and that's fine. But this one seems to lack any at all. It seems about 4 chapters shy of being complete. Were it made into a screenplay, and what a film it could be, the ending would definitely be altered.
That being said, I'd give this book a very strong 5 stars for the ideas, dreamscapes, and wonderful prose. Noon's writing here is as terse as ever, but he still manages to paint scenes as vividly as any modern writer. He doesn't waste a word. But I just felt deeply dissatisfied and saddened by the conclusion. Along the quest, we're often treated to glimpses of a path with an ending to it. But instead, the novel itself seems to fall prey to the sickness endured by our travelers, and I, for one, was deeply disappointed by any sense of closure. Which is all that much more saddening, as it's just inches away of having 'blockbuster' status. For the story/narrative aspect, it's 3 stars, and I'm being generous.
In a scholarly sense, the book's a backlash to the information overload in modern culture and its effect on the human psyche. Someday, perhaps, it'll be cited in, or required reading, for college coursework as commentary for the era we live in....
If you're already a Noon fan, get it, and enjoy the scenery while it lasts. If you're new to Noon, opt instead for Vurt (then Pollen and Nymphomation) and don't miss Pixel Juice, a fantastic collection of Noon's shorter works.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spaced, 8 May 2003
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Hardcover)
If you thought that Jeff Noon couldn't possibly delve deeper into a psychological environment, think again.

I found FOOC to be the darkest of all of his novels, but unfortunately not as bold. There is a lack of concrete plot, which although is understandable given the nature of what the book is meant to bring across, it ultimately leaves the reader wandering around a little uncomfortably by themselves to make what they will of the events.

Intrigue is kept very high for the first half of the novel, but slowly fades, smililarly to the way in which the lead character undegoes her gradual psychological destruction. The book begins more or less in the physical, but blurrs and progresses into the mental, unfortunately without looking back. I ultimately felt this disconnected me with the narrative - again mirroring the downward spiral of the protagonist all too frighteningly well. This turns FOOC into one of those dark works of art that doesn't necessarily try to appeal to an audience by compromising itself for the benefit of the reader's desire for positive eventualities.

The book's more obvious strength lies in the writing itself - Jeff Noon has surpassed himself with the style and flare that is presented here. There isn't a passage in the book that doesn't make you marvel at the extraordinary wording chained together to make up something so unique. The appreciation of the book as a whole however, (to its fullest extent), will likely be limited to a smaller audience who have the capacity to willingly accept melancholy and the absence of closure.

I doubt I will every realistically put any Jeff Noon books on as high a pedastal as Vurt, Pollen, and Pixel Juice. But that isn't to say Falling Out Of Cars doesn't have it's place somewhere amongst the darkness where my intrigue of self-destruction is hidden.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falling out of cars, 2 Dec 2002
By 
J. Eydmann "poetjude" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Hardcover)
Jeff Noon is back with a novel after a period of mixing words in "Cobralingus" and mixing ideas with Pete Beard online.
There is no shortage of the dreamlike imagery and of course the totally fluid way of writing we have come to expect from Noon.
However, the book lacks direction and it is difficult to become involved with the characters. The Wacky ideas in the "Vurt" world of Noon's previous novels were made believable by the supporting theory Noon gave both in the novels and in his short collection "pixeljuice". However he affords the reader no such luxury and we are left to try and work out for ourselves the nature of the "illness" which dominates this world.
In Noon's "Cobralingus" there is a caption stating that the cobralingus engine exists only in the strange and twisted pathways inside Jeff Noon's head. If Noon goes any deeper down those pathways he is in danger of losing his reader.
However, the book gives enough plot to keep you going until the end and Jeff Noon's delightful use of language make this worth the read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love / Hate, 7 Nov 2004
By 
LegendaryMrDude (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Paperback)
The haphazard approach to writing that made all of Noon's previous books such excellent reading material is taken even further. The story is vague, the meaning unclear. It's as close a thing as you will find to impressionist painting with words. But I found it extremely compelling and surpisingly moving. It's one of those books that you will either love or hate, there isn't much room for middle-ground.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 16 July 2012
By 
Glen Mehn (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Hardcover)
Brilliant author finding a new voice and new direction. The world is broken,and only a small group of explorers can fix it - so they go, and try to. The journey is in the struggle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm, 10 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Paperback)
I've read a couple of Noon's other works (Nymphomation, Vurt etc) and loved them, especially the way in which they work together. This is more stand-alone, simpler in its scope, yet far more complex than anything before. It's an easy read, but be prepared to have to work for the meanings behind it all.
There are some lovely passages (my favourite being an incident reading books in a library), and the style of writing gives the story some power and impetus. But there are moments when you hope for something more than the fleeting descriptions given. From beginning to end, you are always thinking: why? Perhaps this is Hoon's raison d'etre, but it fails him here, whereas in other works it has made the difference between a good book and a great one.
I'd advise reading it, but it's not a first point of call for those just starting to get interested in Hoon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Getting back into his stride, 15 May 2004
By 
P. Western (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Paperback)
Britain is in the grip of a sickness that interferes with people's ability to make sense of the information they are bombarded with: even their own reflections become anathema. Marlene Moore - helped by a heavy, his girlfriend and a lonely hitchhiker - is on an expedition to find the shards of a broken mirror (possibly a very famous one), hoping thereby to restore some order.
The plot is revealed in small fragments of melancholy and beautiful writing that lead towards a strange, ambivalent ending. Many of Noon's obsessions are here: information being corrupted, confusion of reality and fantasy, Alice. There are formal tricks, but these serve the telling rather than intruding as they have done in some of his other recent books. Indeed this is something of a return to form.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New to Noon..., 22 Dec 2003
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Paperback)
This is the first time I have read anything by this author - and although it is just the sort of book I usually enjoy.. I found that it was slightly weak. The large print and short chapters mean you get through the book pretty quickly.. but I found it hard to feel anything for the characters at all.. loosing interest fairly quickly in the plot. It also felt very americanised to me.( Which is not a bad thing - but also makes me feel I would have rather just read another book by Paul Auster instead, who also deals with human condition/road type novels... but in a far more connected, interesting way. I did not dislike this book at all, in fact, I enjoyed it - but I would probably not bother reading it again.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hmm, 29 Aug 2004
By 
Mr. L. A. Nicholson "xop" (crinkle, orlando) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling Out of Cars (Hardcover)
i liked pollen and vurt, they were quite interesting. FOOCk is barely coheerant, like my spelling -- but nothing happens at all, the dialogue is truely terrible. Does the author think that putting a swear word in each exchange makes up for the characters saying nothing? does he think it will help appeal to a younger audience or perhaps the american market?? in about 90% of chapters i could barely recall what had happened -- because nothing happens
boringboringboring sorry mr noon this is dated feeling cyberpsychadelicscifi, and that is a tradgedy like occurance dude
on the bright side i like a few bits of it
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Falling Out of Cars
Falling Out of Cars by Jeff Noon (Hardcover - 4 Nov 2002)
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