Falling Man Summary

Falling Man Summary

Falling Man is a novel that shows the aftermath of the terrible event that happened on 9/11/01.

The protagonist, Keith Neudecker, is presented in the opening scene of the novel. Keith is a lawyer who was working at the World Trade Center when it collapsed, managing to wander away through the wreckage, until he comes upon a truck passing by. The truck driver helps to bring him to an apartment with his ex-wife Lianne and his young son Justin. Keith and Lianne had broken up a while ago, so Keith moved to another apartment, giving him the ability to walk to work every day.

After the tragedy of what has happened, Keith starts to seek the comforts of home again. He starts seeing Lianne again, and they restart their relationship. Although things seem like they were before, they aren't emotionally. Keith starts seeing another woman, Florence, who also survived the 9/11 attack. They feel for each other because of their connection of loss from the attack.

Lianne continues her life like it was before the attack, working with Alzheimer's patients in a support group. While not working, Lianne is constantly traumatized by fictional images she imagines of the towers collapsing. She starts to take an interest to a performer called Falling Man, who, while in business clothes, jumps from buildings to simulate the way it really happened on that tragic day. Justin is also affected by the attacks - he and his friends look for planes sent by "Bill Lawton", the mispronunciation they use to represent "bin Laden".

Lianne thinks that her relationship with Keith should continue, but she feels a stronger bond with her mother Nina. Her mother thinks that she never should have married Keith. Nina is obsessed with art, her apartment basically a museum, and she dates an art dealer named Martin. A difference of opinions between these two leads to a divorce of both of them as well.

Keith, unable to return to his normal life, becomes a poker player. One of his coworkers that died in the attack did the same thing before his end. The novel ends with a basic repetition of the beginning, showing how scared and confused the characters are and how much their life has changed from the attacks.

Throughout the novel, there are bits about the Middle Eastern man named Hammad. It is later revealed that Hammad was actually one of the hijackers involved in the crash.

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