For a book about the end of the world, it sure was BORING. Sure, things happened, but I felt no real fear or desire. If it’s the end of the world, I expect some chaos. I expect some people to want to hold tight to their families and revel in the things they enjoy most in life. I expect some people to go completely off-the-walls, knowing whatever they do might not have lasting consequences. Perhaps they will seek revenge, or perhaps they will seek a new flame of a romance, because after all, what do they have to lose? And every so often, every fifty pages or so, I got a small peak of this world, but then it vanished again. There are some weird things that happen in this book, but nothing I couldn’t find in a book that wasn’t about the end of the world.
I will disclaim that I really only read the first two hundred pages like a normal reading, and then skimmed the rest. I WANTED this to be such a good book that I pushed through, but it was highly disappointing. I really just wanted to know the ending, which like the rest of the book, was disappointing. I think the fact that every once in a while a brilliant glimmer of potential came along made it all WORSE, because then I would get hopeful again and the story went back to being plain.
As for the actual storytelling, Tumble & Fall is split into three pretty much unrelated story lines, each of which follows around a different character. This could have worked, except all of their personalities seemed SO similar that I had trouble remembering which character’s life I was reading about. These separate lines are told in third person instead of first, so it’s not even a question of voice, really. It’s just that all of their personalities seemed so . . . blank.
And the actual events that people chose to do in their potential last days were just WEIRD. Now, I understand that the end of the world could make people weird. But I could never buy into what THESE characters did, because I didn’t understand their motives. At no point during Tumble & Fall did I feel I understood the characters even the slightest. One girl runs off with her boyfriend(insta-love boyfriend, I might add), and abandons her family at the END of time.
Then, of course, there’s the weird father/son story. An estranged father kidnaps his son to spend time with him before the end of the world(or so I gather). Now, I realize that the family dynamics are totally off here, which is realistic enough, but I didn’t understand this dramatic gesture. A phone call or a “Hello, remember me? I’m your dad?” was too boring? Not sure. And then the dad buys his teenage son some time with a prostitute, which is around the area I started skimming because I think that speaks for itself
Basically, excellent premise, sad execution.