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Falling Out of Cars by [Noon, Jeff]
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Falling Out of Cars Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 384 pages

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Review

Praise for "Automated Alice": " Borges crossed with Philip Larkin on acid." -- "Arena" " Captures Carroll's style effortlessly... . A weird Alice with a contemporary edge." -- "Mail on Sunday"

From the Back Cover

Marlene Moore wasn't even sure why she accepted the job, except that it gave her the chance to just get in her car and drive. To escape, to keep moving, to maybe find a destination for herself. Now she's journeying around England, a land that turns stranger and more dreamlike, the further she travels. Slowly, day by day, Marlene is falling prey to a sickness, a disease that seems to change the world around her. And the job itself turns out to be far weirder, and more dangerous, than she ever imagined.

A road novel like no other, Falling Out of Cars explores a country, and a psyche, falling off the edge of reality.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 590 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Jeff Noon (21 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B4AQJXW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #162,096 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a bit of a fan of Jeff Noon's work, and have been since I first read Vurt some time back in the mid-nineties, but I really didn't find that much to like in Falling Out Of Cars.

The story follows Marlene, Bev, Peacock and Tupelo, an unlikely set of companions, as they travel around a Britain that's caught in the grip of a seemingly unstoppable sickness in search of fragments of a magic mirror. Along the way they deal with their own gradual decline as the sickness takes a hold of all of them except Tupelo (who is apparently immune), and their relationship is stretched to breaking point as each of the protagonists loses faith in the quest.

I found that the characters in this book aren't all that engaging. The only one with any real substance is Marlene, the main protagonist and the book's de-facto narrator. The others all seem superficial, and we only get to hear the back story of one of those, and then only a fragment. We're given little or no reason to sympathise with these three secondary characters, and consequently it feels as though Marlene herself doesn't even care that much about them. When they all go their separate ways at the end I was just left thinking 'oh well,' and moving on, and that's after taking into account the fact that one almost dies and another is effectively abandoned at the side of the road.

The sickness itself affects the victims' perceptions, confusing their understanding of the world around them; it also somehow messes with communications media, including photographs, telephone calls, radio and television signals, and even road signage and the written word.
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By A Customer on 8 May 2003
Format: 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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