Fall - Colin McAdam "Oh no," I groaned as I started this book. "More stream-of-consciousness. What am I doing to myself?" However, in this case it works. The author has three different voices, all male, all telling some parts of the story (and sometimes giving the same incident from different points of view, which is very illuminating). The most unsettling by far is the one that is lucid, articulate, and educated - Noel, a loner at the exclusive boarding school that forms the setting for most of the incidents in the novel. As the novel progresses, Noel casually lets slip references to entirely unsettling happenings &/or thoughts in his past that lead us to conclude that he is, indeed, entirely capable of a psychopathic act - like the murder of the title female/object, Fall (short for Fallon). The most streamy stream-of-consciousness sections belong to Julian, who is about as dim and body/sex-obsessed as you'd expect an eighteen-year-old boy to be. He's Fall's boyfriend, and therefore another object of Noel's obsession; he's also Noel's roommate, and fills the most-popular-boy-in-the school role. The third voice, a relatively minor one, is that of William, a disillusioned chauffeur (Julian's father is an ambassador); William's own musings occasionally have disquieting echoes in the thoughts of the boys, but he's chiefly there to give historical perspective.

I liked the pictures of life in a quasi-traditional Canadian institution ("the place has traditions, but the traditions aren't old," says Noel. And I appreciated (though, not being an admirer of the 18-year-old male beast in general, I didn't particularly like) the very realistic sound of the boys' voices and thoughts.

I wish we could have had Fall's voice as well, but that's not what this novel is about; it's about belonging and not belonging in a closed male-dominated society (Julian also has father issues, lest we miss that particular point), and about how violence can erupt shockingly when the dangerous ones aren't properly diagnosed.

There aren't really any spoilers to protect in this plot; if there's one thing I have to complain about it's that McAdam draws us in and invests us in Fall's fate, but leaves us hanging, though with reasonably strong suspicions. It may be more true to the way life actually operates, but it's damn annoying in a novel!

Anyway, thank you, little brother, for this Christmas gift and out of the ordinary read for me.