In his most recent novel, I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company, Brian Hall won acclaim for the way he used the intimate, revelatory voice of fiction to capture the half-hidden personal stories of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In his new novel, Hall turns to the life of Robert Frost, arguably America's best-known poet.Frost, as both a man and an artist, was toughened by a hard life. His own father died when Frost was 11; his only sibling, a sister, had to be institutionalized; and of his five children, one died before the age of four, one committed suicide, one went insane, and one died in childbirth.
Told in short chapters, each of which presents an emblematic incident with intensity and immediacy, Hall's novel deftly weaves together the earlier parts of Frost's life with his final year, 1962, when, at age 88 and under the looming threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he made a visit to Russia and met with Nikita Khrushchev.
As Hall shows, Frost determined early on that he would not succumb to the tragedies life threw at him. The deaths of his children were forms of his own death from which he resurrected himself through poetry - for him, the preeminent symbol of man's form-giving power.
A searing, exquisitely constructed portrait of one man's rages, guilt, paranoia, and sheer, defiant persistence, as well as an exploration of why good people suffer unjustly and how art is born from that unanswerable question, Fall of Frost is a magnificent work that further confirms Hall's status as one of the most talented novelists at work today.
Robert Frost's difficult life greatly informed his writing, and Fall of Frost offers much insight into the legendary poet's backstory. In this meticulously rendered fictional biography that faithfully adheres to documents of Frost's activities and communications, Frost himself is voiced by award-winning voice performer Dick Hill, who easily channels Frost's stoicism into lyrical, moving storytelling. From Frost's early years and the death of his father through to his visit to Russia at age 88 to meet Nikita Khrushchev, Fall of Frost is an intimate and touching portrait of one of America's greatest artists.
"Brilliant....[Hall] captures the interior life of a public man in a remarkably credible way." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Hall gets deep into Frost's head, an approach that brings a startling immediacy to a complex figure many know only as the author of classics like 'The Road Not Taken'." (Publishers Weekly)
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- CHET YARBROUGH
Wonderful listening experience.