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Extended Audio Sample Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Noah Hawley Narrator: Robert Petkoff Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, and Golden Globe Award–winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller to read in 2016.

On a foggy summer night, eleven people—ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter—depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs—the painter—and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members—including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot—the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations—all while the listener draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Part coming-of-middle-age drama, part character-driven thriller, part mystery, BEFORE THE FALL is a smart and often absorbing read. NightsandWeekends.com
  • A gripping and sobering drama. Inside Jersey
  • This is one of the year's best suspense novels, a mesmerizing, surprise-jammed mystery that works purely on its own, character-driven terms....Mr. Hawley has made it very, very easy to race through his book in a state of breathless suspense. Janet Maslin, New York Times
  • BEFORE THE FALL is a ravishing and riveting beauty of a thriller. It's also a deep exploration of desire, betrayal, creation, family, fate, mortality, and rebirth. It's one part Dennis Lehane, one part Dostoevsky. I was spellbound from first page to last; I haven't fully recovered yet. Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours
  • Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages, but there's more to the novel than suspense. On one hand, BEFORE THE FALL is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel. On the other hand, it is an exploration of the human condition, a meditation on the vagaries of human nature, the dark side of celebrity, the nature of art, the power of hope and the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate. Kristin Hannah, New York Times Book Review
  • [A] terrific thriller...an irresistible mystery.. a tale that's both an intriguing puzzle and a painful story of human loss. Patrick Anderson, Washington Post
  • I started and finished BEFORE THE FALL in one day. That begins to tell you what kind of smart, compellingly dramatic read it is.
  • So read it. James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author and winner of the National Book Foundation's 2015 Literarian Award
  • A masterly blend of mystery, suspense, tragedy, and shameful media hype...a gritty tale of a man overwhelmed by unwelcome notoriety, with a stunning, thoroughly satisfying conclusion. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • A pulse-pounding story, grounded in humanity. Booklist (starred review)
  • BEFORE THE FALL is an astonishing, character-driven tour-de-force. The story is a multi-layered, immersive examination of truth, relationships, and our unquenchable thirst for the media's immediate explanation of unfathomable tragedy. Karin Slaughter, #1 internationally bestselling author
  • Savvy and absorbing... cathartic...BEFORE THE FALL is about the gulf that separates perception and truth, and the people who fall into it. Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
  • BEFORE THE FALL kicks ass. A surefire summer read."
    Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage and City of Mirrors
  • Like the successful screenwriter that he is, Hawley piles on enough intrigues and plot complications to keep you hooked. Kirkus Reviews
  • This isn't just a good novel; it's a great one. I trusted no one in these pages, yet somehow cared about them all. BEFORE THE FALL brings a serrated edge to every character, every insight, and every wicked twist. Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The President's Shadow
  • Noah Hawley soon veers his highly entertaining novel into an insightful look at families, revenge and media intrusion...Hawley invests the same care with a soupcon of dark humor into BEFORE THE FALL as he does on the TV series 'Fargo'...superb and cleverly constructed. Associated Press
  • A riveting beach read. People, "The Best New Books"
  • [A] page-turner. Vanity Fair
  • A remarkable and memorable accomplishment by any standard...BEFORE THE FALL is brilliantly constructed and wonderfully told.... a tale that will haunt you long after you read the last page, even as you wish the narrative was twice as long, for all the right reasons. Book Reporter
  • Essential reading this summer for anyone who likes a good story well told...You won't read a more thoughtful page-turner anytime soon...irresistibly cinematic. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Remarkably fun to read, filled with suspense, memorable characters and incredibly visual scenes...a compulsive experience. Austin American-Statesman
  • Compulsively written and involving, BEFORE THE FALL is a stunning inquiry into human drive and desire...A powerful and genuinely surprising work. The Saturday Star
  • Abundant chills and thrills...Noah Hawley's novel grabs you by the throat and won't let go...BEFORE THE FALL is storytelling at its best, as Hawley presents a range of diverse characters with rich histories... Seeds of doubt are cast in what is sure to be the summer book you won't want to miss. The Missourian
  • In the hands of a writer like Noah Hawley, who knows how to build tension from mundane moments, it is a remarkable thriller that most readers will find difficult to put down...it moves toward a breathless ending. The Washington Times
  • A complex exploration of human nature in an age of celebrity. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Won [our] hearts and minds...it will be the big talker of the summer. New York Post, "Summer's Hottest Reads"
  • [The] thriller of the summer. The Baltimore Sun
  • The crash and the flashbacks recall Lost and Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer-winning novel, The Bridge Over San Luis Rey, and Scott's travails are the lot of every hero in a conspiratorial thriller going back to The 39 Steps. Slate
  • BEFORE THE FALL will seize you on the first page and never let you go, as you follow the story of a plane crash and the complicated and confusing investigation about why it happened. Vanity Fair, "The 5 Must-Read Books for the Last Five Weeks of Summer"
  • Fast-paced, mysterious...reads like a great episode of TV. The Tennessean
  • A riveting summer read...the author manages to draw out beauty from the heartbreak embodied within the characters. BEFORE THE FALL poses ubiquitous questions about existence, while maintaining a fast-paced, fascinating, and ultimately life-affirming plot. Woodbury Magazine
  • A captivating study of human nature. New Orleans Advocate
  • A suspenseful mystery with shocking twists and turns. The Record
  • [An] intelligent and majestically paced story... Hawley has provided his fans with the ultimate irony: a best-seller that is also a Marxist critique. Dallas Morning News
  • “A ravishing and riveting beauty of a thriller….one part Dennis Lehane, one part Dostoevsky.”

    Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • A complex and compulsively readable novel that haunts you after the last page. Galveston County Daily News
  • A taut and expertly paced suspense novel. Hawley's fifth book delivers in so many ways: a cast of well-drawn characters, feints, red herrings and dogged investigators who eventually uncover the truth...this one keeps readers guessing until the final, tragic unveiling....in nerve-racking and poignant detail. RealClearBooks, "This Summer's Best Thriller"
  • This fast-paced, suspenseful novel is sure to be a summer blockbuster. Serendipity, "Best Books of Summer"
  • Hawley serves up a meaty story... and his prose is a joy to read. Vegas Seven
  • Each passenger's backstory adds to the mystery and suspense of this terrific thriller. Acadiana Lifestyle
  • Utterly engrossing...practically made for the big screen. Domino Magazine
  • [A] tautly compelling summer sizzler. Examiner.com
  • Hawley works both with and against the conventions of literary thrillers, relying on a keen sense of pacing to sustain a story that withholds its secrets until the end... Hawley's prose is direct and unadorned, with priority given to the story, so it's no surprise the author is at his best in moments of high action and rising tension. A.V. Club
  • A thrill ride of a book, a perfect summer beach read...a meaty novel. KMUW Wichita
  • [A] soapy, scary, ripped-from-the-headlines story...The answers are ultimately satisfying and heartbreaking. The Plain Dealer Online
  • “An astonishing, character-driven tour-de-force.”

    Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A riveting beach read.”


  • "[A] page-turner.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Savvy and absorbing…cathartic…about the gulf that separates perception and truth and the people who fall into it.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “One of the year’s best suspense novels, a mesmerizing, surprise-jammed mystery.”

    New York Times

  • “A potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] highly entertaining…insightful look at families, revenge, and media intrusion…superb and cleverly constructed.”

    Associated Press

  • “A masterly blend of mystery, suspense, tragedy, and shameful media hype…a gritty tale of a man overwhelmed by unwelcome notoriety, with a stunning, thoroughly satisfying conclusion.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Hawley ramps up suspense as the investigation into the crash proceeds…A pulse-pounding story, grounded in humanity.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Hawley piles on enough intrigues and plot complications to keep you hooked.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Robert Petkoff creates an exceptional experience for listeners who are seeking the perfect audiobook this summer…Listeners need not worry about losing track of the narrative as Petkoff’s performance is vivid and engaging. He delivers a confident portrayal of the diverse cast of characters, some less scrupulous than others. It’s a riveting package.”


  • A Library Journal Audio-in-Advance Pick 
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick for Best Summer Reads of 2016
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for May 2016
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2016 New England Book Award for Fiction
  • A People Pick of the Week of New Reads
  • A Vulture.com Pick of Fun Fiction Books to Read at the Beach, as Chosen by Jenny Han
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2016
  • A 2016 Amazon Best Books of the Year So Far Selection for Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
  • A 2016 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
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