Falling Man is a post-September 11 story that follows lawyer Keith Neudecker, who escaped from the burning Twin Towers, and his attempt to adjust to life again after the tragedy. Keith and his wife Lianne were separated before the planes hit. After the incident, Keith returns to her home, looking for the comfort of his family. Keith and Lianne have one young son named Justin, who often looks out the window with binoculars, searching for planes in the sky and a man named Bill Lawton, his mispronunciation of Bin Laden. Lianne's mother, Nina, is not happy to have Keith return to her daughter, as she is not very fond of her son-in-law. Nina also has a boyfriend named Martin, who is an art dealer. Lianne welcomes Keith in, assists him in being evaluated medically and tries to help him readjust. Lianne runs an Alzheimer's support group that focuses on writing, but its members slowly dwindle as the story progresses. Before he escaped the Tower, Keith accidentally grabbed the briefcase of a woman named Florence, whom he develops a romantic interest in as well. Lianne starts to develop paranoid fears about Middle Eastern people and becomes easily irritated at things like postcards showing pictures of the countries or hearing a neighbor in their building play this type of music.
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Between the story of Keith and his family, the author discusses details in the daily life of a Middle Eastern man named Hammad. He is a pilot who is pursuing more flight training in the Gulf Coast. It is later revealed that he is one of the hijackers who struck the North Tower.
Eventually Keith leaves Lianne and the family to continue to make a new life for himself. He remembers playing poker with co-workers that he lost in the Towers. He decides to become a professional poker player and travel across the country, competing in tournaments.
Best part of story, including ending:
The description of events is very detailed, especially the scenes of Keith being covered in glass shards and wounded after the attack.
Best scene in story:
The beginning of the story describes in detail the people and the environment that was affected shortly after the towers collapsed. The images of things like briefcases on the streets and smoke and soot everywhere paints a picture that draws the reader into the story.
Opinion about the main character:
Keith recognizes a change he needed to make in his life to help him put the pieces back together. His decision to play poker allows him to recall fonder memories of the friend he lost in the attack while living out his dream of doing something for fun.