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The Falls: A Novel (Oates, Joyce Carol) by…

The Falls: A Novel (Oates, Joyce Carol) (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Joyce Carol Oates

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1,439None5,203 (3.64)49
Title:The Falls: A Novel (Oates, Joyce Carol)
Authors:Joyce Carol Oates
Info:Ecco (2004), Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates (2004)


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English (30)  Swedish (4)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Ariah Burnaby is a conundrum. Not just to those around her but to me after hundreds of pages. Rarely have I spent so much time reading about a character and depart at the end feeling that I never got to really know them. Still, I very much enjoyed this book. I kept wanting to understand or see if she'd ever divulge something to explain it all. She didn't. To the end, she was ever Ariah. They sympathy I felt for her in the beginning was stripped away as the story moves along & her children, Chandler, Royall & Juliet come into their own & she is seen through them. I wanted each of the three to get away simply as a mechanism of personal survival. It was compelling reading. I very much wanted to know if any would discover that she was the legendary lady by The Falls waiting for her fallen first husband to be returned by the churning waters. But the mystery of Dirk Burnaby was likely all that could really be handled & that was well done.

This is going to be on my almost favorites list because while I likely won't read it again, it was a great read & will have me reflecting upon its characters for years. Also, I'm a sucker for a Niagara Falls setting. I think this was the first novel I've read of Joyce Carol Oates & I have to say that I very much liked it. ( )
  anissaannalise | Jan 1, 2014 |
I was disappointed in this Oates novel. Too much description going nowhere a lot of the time ~ the first few chapters the worst. Not like her other work. The most interesting element of the book was about the Love Canal case. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
I loved everything about this book. Great read, highly recommend and great for a book club. ( )
  Richardson76 | Dec 4, 2012 |
Un capolavoro. Una saga e al contempo una dura requisitoria sul nostro mondo. ( )
  Lilliblu | Aug 4, 2012 |
In June of 1950, Ariah Erskine and her husband are on their honeymoon in Niagara Falls, New York, and have been married for less than twenty-four hours when she wakes up to find him missing from their honeymoon suite. When she finally finds his suicide note propped up against a mirror in their room, and learns that a man who fits his description was seen throwing himself into the raging waters of the Falls early that morning, she begins a seven-day vigil at the falls that will end only when authorities pull his bloated body from the water. She is kept company during her vigil by Dirk Burnaby–a local bachelor, lawyer, and pillar of the community–and although she doesn’t speak to him, he unexpectedly falls in love with her and decides that Ariah is the woman whom he wants to marry and settle down with. He proposes. She accepts. They marry. They have kids. Their bond is a passionate one, and everything seems to be perfect. Ariah’s first marriage and the death of her ex-husband have forever changed her, though…

Read more... ( )
  Heather_BTC | Jul 27, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oates, Joyce Carolprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fields, AnnaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Den grymma skönheten hos Fallen / Som ropar till dig... / Ge upp! - M. L. Trau, "The Ballad of the Niagara", 1931
To Nancy Van Goethem and Larry Joseph
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At the time unknown, unnamed, the individual who was to throw himself into the Horseshoe falls appeared to the gatekeeper of the Goat Island Suspension Bridge at approximately 6:15 am.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060722290, Paperback)

It is 1950 and, after a disastrous honeymoon night, Ariah Erskine's young husband throws himself into the roaring waters of Niagara Falls. Ariah, "the Widow Bride of the Falls," begins a relentless seven-day vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found. At her side is confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby, who is unexpectedly drawn to her. What follows is a passionate love affair, marriage, and family -- a seemingly perfect existence. But tragedy soon takes over their lives, poisoning their halcyon years with distrust, greed, and murder.

Set against the mythic-historic backdrop of Niagara Falls in the mid-twentieth century, this haunting exploration of the American family in crisis is a stunning achievement from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation).

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Story of the powerful spell Niagara Falls casts upon two generations of a family, leading to tragedy, love, loss, and, ultimately, redemption. A man climbs over the railings and plunges into Niagara Falls. A newlywed, he has left behind his wife Ariah in the honeymoon suite the morning after their wedding. The widow begins a vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found. At her side throughout, confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby is unexpectedly transfixed by the strange, otherworldly gaze of this plain, strange woman, falling in love with her though they barely exchange a word. What follows is their passionate love affair, marriage, and children, a seemingly perfect existence. But the tragedy by which their life together began shadows them, damaging their idyll with distrust, greed, and even murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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