3 Jul 2016

Falling by Gordon J. Brown

Falling by Gordon Brown
Falling by Gordon Brown

Enjoyment of Gordon J. Brown’s Falling depends on how much you are willing to forgive.

If you like your crime gritty and realistic, then you’ll find that Falling falls short with its lack of descriptive passages. There are none of the seedy, awful characters and streets, and other tropes regular to this medium.

Instead is an immediate story, which packs in a hell of a lot, and this includes an amazing opening 80 pages which describes the same split second incident from various angles, as if you are witnessing an amazing Tarantino slow-motion sequence, in which character and action are nicely collided to great effect.

Eschewing authenticity for sheer entertainment value, Falling will not let anybody down in terms of its speed and wow-factor. In fact, it is a miracle of both

I think in essence, the crime writing that people relish the most is a mixture of all of the above — a hard and fast story, combined with meaty and murderous characters, all struggling for breath in a well-realised — usually urban — environment.

Falling by Gordon J. Brown seems to do away with the latter two of these, and instead throws everything it’s got into the story-telling, and in this it succeeds like few crime books I’ve read. In fact, Falling follows few of the regular ‘crime’ clich├ęs, and foregoes all nicety in its relentless drive to maintain interest, and in this it succeeds.

And that beginning portion is excellent, and explains why Falling has been republished in America - with a few of its Weegie-isms tempered for the audience's understanding. In those fast-paced pages, Gordon Brown aspires to creating a tour-de-force in speedy style storytelling by repeating the same several minutes of action relentlessly in the minds of the many characters involved. To its credit, this materialises as something that would be impossible to relate on film and which is yet so incredible that any reader will be hooked.

After this initial episode, so blazingly-well described, the writing loosens up a bit and the narrative expands to allow back story, characterisation and even some romance. In all, I’m not sure how people might refer to this style of book, but I would call it a page-turner — it’s something you’ll read at breakneck speed and enjoy immensely while you are doing so. 

For critical note, Falling possibly wraps up just a little too quickly, and it scrimps on character, but when there is so much character-less fiction available in which authors are trying and failing to generate some interest, this may have been a wise policy decision on the part of the author.

Whatever your take on it, Falling stands out of the crowd because of its storytelling which is funny, unique and mixes up expectation by constantly revealing the same events from many different persepectives.

GJ Brown Homepage