Book Reviews of The Falls

The Falls
The Falls
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
ISBN-13: 9780965434973
ISBN-10: 0965434974
Publication Date: 2004
Rating:
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 14

3.2 stars, based on 14 ratings
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

20 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Falls on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I know that Joyce Carol Oates is considered one of the greatest writers of our time, but her focus on the mundane details of peoples lives make her books very hard to finish.
reviewed The Falls on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Slow first few pages - and then you can't put it down
reviewed The Falls on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Widowed on her wedding night when her new husband, a young minister and latent homosexual, throws himself into the falls, Ariah Littrell, the plain, awkward daughter of a minister, henceforth considers herself damned. Her bleak future becomes miraculously bright when Dirk Burnaby, a handsome, wealthy bon vivant with an altruistic heart, falls in love with the media-dubbed Widow-Bride. Their rapturous happiness is shadowed only by Ariah's illogical conviction over the years that Dirk will leave her and their three children someday. Her unreasonable fear becomes self-fulfilling when her increasingly unstable behavior, combined with Dirk's obsessed but chaste involvement with Nina Olshaker, a young mother who enlists his help in alerting the city fathers to the pestilential conditions in the area later to be known as Love Canal, opens a chasm in their marriage. His gentle heart inspired by a need for justice, Dirk takes on the powerful, corrupt politicians, his former peers and pals, in a disastrous lawsuit that ruins him socially and financially and results in his death.
reviewed The Falls on + 331 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Widowed on her wedding night when her new husband, a young minister and latent homosexual, throws himself into the falls, Ariah Littrell, the plain, awkward daughter of a minister, henceforth considers herself damned. Her bleak future becomes miraculously bright when Dirk Burnaby, a handsome, wealthy bon vivant with an altruistic heart, falls in love with the media-dubbed Widow-Bride. Their rapturous happiness is shadowed only by Ariah's illogical conviction over the years that Dirk will leave her and their three children someday. Her unreasonable fear becomes self-fulfilling when her increasingly unstable behavior, combined with Dirk's obsessed but chaste involvement with Nina Olshaker, a young mother who enlists his help in alerting the city fathers to the pestilential conditions in the area later to be known as Love Canal, opens a chasm in their marriage. His gentle heart inspired by a need for justice, Dirk takes on the powerful, corrupt politicians, his former peers and pals, in a disastrous lawsuit that ruins him socially and financially and results in his death. Oates adroitly addresses the material of this "first" class action lawsuit and makes the story fresh and immediate. "In the end, all drama is about family," a character muses, and while the narrative occasionally lapses into melodrama in elucidating this theme, Oates spins a haunting story in which nature and humans are equally rapacious and self-destructive.
reviewed The Falls on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting historical background regarding Niagra Falls as well as characters of three or more generations. Oates writes beautifully, descriptions are like prose...a joy to read. The reader identifies with the reasoning, choices made by characters. Well done. Susan
reviewed The Falls on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Loved the book jacket, couldn't get into the book
reviewed The Falls on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
One of JCO's best books! The beginning drags you in with a bride whose new husband goes over the falls. From them on you follow the main characters through the decades as they interact with history and fate.
reviewed The Falls on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It is 1950 and after a disastrous honeymoon night Ariah young husband throws himself into the roaring waters of Niagara. Thus begins a 7 day vigil in the mist waiting for his body to be found. what follows is a passionate love affair, marriage and family a seemingly perfect existant. Set againt the historic backdrop of Niagara Falls.
reviewed The Falls on + 216 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this story, a man kills himself on his honeymoon by throwing himself into the Niagra Falls. His widow gets remarried and then, as life goes on, she gets a little nutty. Very good story, different to say the least.
reviewed The Falls on + 49 more book reviews
Held my interest, kept waiting for a big revelation at the end but it never came.
reviewed The Falls on + 65 more book reviews
This book has so much promise but does not impress in the end. There is no resolution to most of the storylines (death is not a resolution). Ariah, the main character, goes from being someone you admire to someone you can't stand. The author seems to enjoy spending hundreds of pages babbling on without getting to the point. I forced myself to finish, hoping it would be worth it in the end. Unfortunately, it was not.
reviewed The Falls on + 27 more book reviews
This is Joyce Carol Oates at her best and yet another one of her riveting, stimulating and engrossing novels. It is quite different with some unusual characters but they are so unique and the story is so fascinating that you just want to come back for more. It grabs you and makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next. I would highly recommend it but not for the faint of heart.
reviewed The Falls on + 20 more book reviews
If you like Joyce Carol Oates, you'll like this one. I found it a little bizarre for my taste.
reviewed The Falls on + 4 more book reviews
One of my all time favorites. This takes place at Niagara Falls in the 1950's. For those of you who enjoy suspense AND historical novels. This may just be the book for you. I never read a book twice, but this is one I could read again!!
reviewed The Falls on + 27 more book reviews
This is a great one for Joyce Carol Oates's fans; lovely prose and a "haunting exploration of the American family in crisis".
reviewed The Falls on + 9 more book reviews
a real page turner.
reviewed The Falls on + 54 more book reviews
This story gave a great representation of the allure of Niagara Falls. Having said that, it is also a dark story. It also goes into some detail regarding Love Canal.
reviewed The Falls on
Once I got used to Oates style, I got hooked on this novel I'm reading for my book group. I will read another title by this author in the future for certain.
reviewed The Falls on + 71 more book reviews
excellent!
reviewed The Falls on + 42 more book reviews
National Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book