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Chaos and horror

Don DeLillo, an undoubted master, has a gift for creating an atmosphere of inchoate dread. Yet his latest novel feels flat and static and lacks a sense of purpose. At least it has a superb ending

By Erik Tarloff   June 2007

Falling man, by Don DeLillo (Picador, £16.99) The elements of Falling Man’s plot—in reality, hardly a plot at all—seem haphazardly assembled. Keith Neudecker, working at his unidentified job in the World Trade Centre on 9/11, survives the terrorist attacks and manages, along with a mass of other shell-shocked survivors, to exit the building by stairway. Although injured, he chooses not to go straight to hospital, but instead walks uptown from ground zero to the apartment where his son and estranged wife are living, thereby effecting a de facto marital reconciliation. Despite this, he begins a brief affair with a woman…

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