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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2009
I finished this book in one weekend. If I could have got away with ignoring the kids, not cutting the grass or being distracted by so-called 'friends' I would have finished it in one day.

Books like this (sex, drugs and rock-and-roll) wouldn't normally appeal to me but I gave it a punt on the recommendation of a friend. Although the cover-art is rubbish; the Title is exceptionally faithful. It is a book that authoritatively places you in the voyeuristic position of being able to watch a journey under the promise of a 'train crash.' Not a Hollywood train crash that hits a wall and explodes in a huge ball of flame, but one where the wheels get loose, the driver more drunk and the passengers increasingly troublesome - you get to see it all in marvellous slow-motion detail. The inside knowledge of no-limits drugs made me occasionally wonder if Mark Dawson needed an excuse for some serious method-authoring research, yet it still 'added to' rather than 'distract from' the experience of reading this excellent book. Highly recommended.
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on 2 July 2001
I did not know much about the music industry before I read this, but now I do. A really good read, and shows the characters in stark relief. Usually, there is somebody you like or can relate to in a novel, but such is the colourful humour, and dark drugs culture, that all of charcters were vile, and ones you would not want to meet at a party! Inventive plot twists, and a book which I had to read asap, as it held my attention throughout. I look forward to Mark Dawson's next novel, and even a TAoFA part II, entitled perhaps "What ever happend to Jared, Spin & Alex?"
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on 24 June 2001
As a first novel this book came as a welcome surprise to an area of literature that has been somewhat dormant and formulaic. Mr Dawson conjures up a number of facinating characters most with dark secrets or foibles which carry the story along with great gusto.
The introduction of the e-mail fan Suzy is a particular delight and lends a novel edge to the story.
If you have any interest in the music industry or a liking for semi dark humour then read this. Great stuff!!
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on 4 December 2012
The Art of Falling Apart cleverly weaves together stories from the perspectives of friends, colleagues and hangers-on of a band intent on breaking America, and really nails how talent and personality that drives someone to success can be the same thing that sparks their downfall. Feels like you're in the heart of the chaos, and the more you read, the more chilling it gets.

A perceptive, clever read. Recommended.
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on 18 January 2004
An entralling read! Dawson has really put his all into this book. The character insight, plot development and the way it's written from various perspectives throughout is a refreshing change. You genuinely feel you are there, from the gritty London streets to the frentic oasis that is Vegas. I would highly recommend this book, it was a chore for me to put it down.
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on 8 December 2003
Excellent book - as someone interested in the music industry and rock n roll in general, the subject matter suited me perfectly! I enjoyed the way that each chapter is written from a different character's point of view, so that the story pieces together gradually but completely - and the ending was really good too.
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on 27 November 2014
‘The Art of Falling Down’ is an extremely accomplished début novel by Mark Dawson. I bought it a couple of years’ ago, and for some reason it stayed unread on my Kindle during that time. I must confess that when I first started to read it I wondered why I had bought this book. I wasn’t sure about the subject matter (it’s a fast-paced story of the rise and fall of a rock band, ‘Dystopia’, and their manager, Alex) and I’m generally not keen on novels written in the present tense, which this is. However, because this is such a well written story, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. Mr Dawson shows a number of deft touches – for example, he might have been tempted to add an epilogue, setting out how things ended for the key characters - but the story is stronger and more enjoyable without it.

I shall be reading more of Mr Dawson’s work.
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on 16 January 2016
I'd had this sitting on my kindle for ages before realising I had already read several books by this author in a very different genre. It certainly gives a nasty impression of how a meteoric rise to fame could affect a working UK band with its mixture of members. Some of the drug taking seems excessive.....surely they should all have ODd?....but I enjoyed the description of the life and the sordid sub plots involving managers and groupies. It gets a bit complicated towards the end....a bit like a black comedy farce.....but I enjoyed it although it's quite unpleasant at times. Some great descriptive writing though, and it's easy to see how this author has improved and gone on to better things!
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on 20 November 2015
Having read the John Milton and Beatrix Rose series from Mark Dawson which I absolutely loved/raved about/recommended to anyone who would listen etc, I was hungry for some new Mark Dawson material to read. I found this novel really disappointing. The story line was slow and it too me ages to get into it and by then I had to finish the book with the hope it would pick up somewhere during the remaining pages, but alas it didn't. The John Milton and Beatrix Rose books have you hooked in with in the first few pages. I would say if your aren't hooked in with this book within the first couple of chapters you probably won't be and I should move on to something else.
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on 26 February 2014
As long as you realise that your heroes have feet of clay this is an OK read - after all, it's only rock and roll! How anyone survives the amount of drugs referenced in this book I have no idea, but then many rock groups apparently consume prodigious quantities of drugs even today and no, they don't all live through it unscathed.

Most books have at least one character who the reader can identify with in some way, or consider to be the good guy - you have to search very hard to find anyone to support in this story. One victim was Gretta - but I am not sure why, what happened to her or whether I cared that we didn't find out.
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