Latest Reading: Before the Fall

It was an eerie coincidence that last night I finished Noah Hawley’s suspense novel “Before the Fall”. This morning I learned of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash. The novel centers around a private plane crash between Martha’s Vineyard and New York. On board the plane was the CEO of a fictional Fox News and his family and friends. The only survivors are a struggling artist and the 4-year old son.

After describing the crash and amazing survival story, the novel gives the back story of the 11 people on board. The story works toward the results of the investigation of the crash. Hawley is an author but more famous as a writer for television, including being a showrunner for the series Fargo and Legion. The book has a cinematic quality to it and I read where it is turning into a movie. Contemplating the cause of the crash assisted me falling asleep.

My takeaway from the novel is the idea of great wealth. Having more money than one can spend in a lifetime brings luxury and comfort, with no material worries. However, it does not bring true happiness and the most important things, such as family relationships (husband-wife, father-daughter, etc.), health, purpose are not enhanced with great wealth. In fact, running a fictional Fox News takes the father away from the family. His wife is a former school teacher 20 years younger than him. I think there is a sweet spot for wealth; to be comfortably upper middle class.

I recommend the book, it is a page-turner and Hawley gives lots of details about psychology, motivations, childhoods, about each of the characters that give depth to the action thriller.

Kobe Bryant, age 41, died in a private helicopter crash along with his daughter and friends. He was on his way to a basketball game. His immense wealth (and bad luck) was the cause of his death as he could afford to fly to the game instead of driving like most people do in metro Los Angeles.

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