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, 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.
There is also focus on color. The individual ingredients’ shades are emphasized – avocados paired with carrots and leafy greens highlight the dynamic nature of these ingredients (for those who think avocados aren’t exciting) and that colors can go beyond the beige nature of typical vegetarian foods like tofu. Cheddar biscuits, sloppy sandwiches, more burgers, and even items like granola that regularly have little interest for me caused me to bookmark pages.
And better yet, there was no shock moving from image to ingredient list and recipes. Everything seemed feasible. Typically, I’ll see a recipe and hold my breath until I see the labor and ingredient list. In the past my hopes have been dashed when I’d see 30 ingredients, 10 different Cuisinart attachments necessary, and 46 steps.
It all has the potential for some sappy feel-good melodrama just in time for Father’s Day; but somehow, like Bucky Dent himself, Duchovny hits an unexpected home run.
These videos are the pinnacle of media optimized for the Internet: short, seductive, shareable. I may never make a vampire taco. But I’ll happily watch someone else make them.
Have we devised any greater waste of time and energy than the running of the marathon? I’m asking for a friend.