Before The Fall
    Home    Print This Page  

1. Every person on the plane has experienced sadness or difficulties in the past. Do you think that everyone has his or her own sad story?

2. In what ways is this novel a traditional thriller? In what ways does it bend the conventions of the thriller genre?

3. The 24-hour news cycle is ubiquitous in our culture. How is this phenomenon portrayed, and how does it make you re-think what we see on television every day?

4. BEFORE THE FALL alternates between the present day - the investigation into the plane crash - and flashbacks to each passenger’s life. As you read the flashbacks, how does your understanding of the past change your understanding of the present day narrative?

5. Much of BEFORE THE FALL revolves around a quest for the truth. What truths are debated or searched for during the course of this book?

6. The author, Noah Hawley, is well-known for his work in film and television. In what scenes do you see this reflected in the book?

7. Much of the plot hinges on chance encounters or small decisions. What are some seemingly unimportant choices characters make that turn out to be pivotal? Do you see this sort of kismet in real life?

8. How is the concept of heroism explored throughout the book? What separates heroes from other people? How does an ordinary person become a hero?

9. After the plane crash, Scott meets many different people - JJ, Eleanor, Doug, Layla, Gus, Bill - who want different things from him. How do these characters affect Scott and his personal journey?  

10. In many ways, Scott has been a passive observer rather than an active participant in life. In what ways does the crash change how he relates to the world around him and his sense of self?