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  • Published: 6 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448161836
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

Falling Out of Time

Following the magisterial To the End of the Land, the universally acclaimed Israeli author brings us an incandescent fable of parental grief - slim, elemental, a powerfully distilled experience of understanding and acceptance, and of art's triumph over death.

In Falling Out of Time, David Grossman has created a genre-defying drama - part play, part prose, pure poetry - to tell the story of bereaved parents setting out to reach their lost children. It begins in a small village, in a kitchen, where a man announces to his wife that he is leaving, embarking on a journey in search of their dead son.The man - called simply the 'Walking Man' - paces in ever-widening circles around the town. One after another, all manner of townsfolk fall into step with him (the Net Mender, the Midwife, the Elderly Maths Teacher, even the Duke), each enduring his or her own loss. The walkers raise questions of grief and bereavement: Can death be overcome by an intensity of speech or memory? Is it possible, even for a fleeting moment, to call to the dead and free them from their death? Grossman's answer to such questions is a hymn to these characters, who ultimately find solace and hope in their communal act of breaching death's hermetic separateness. For the reader, the solace is in their clamorous vitality, and in the gift of Grossman's storytelling - a realm where loss is not merely an absence, but a life force of its own.

  • Published: 6 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448161836
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the author

David Grossman

David Grossman is the bestselling author of numerous works, which have been translated into thirty-six languages. His most recent novel, A Horse Walks into a Bar, was awarded the International Man Booker Prize 2017, and shortlisted for the TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize 2019. Grossman is also the recipient of the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the 2010 Frankfurt Peace Prize.

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Praise for Falling Out of Time

Grossman raises questions about the nature of grief and mourning and demonstrates, once again, his rare gift of storytelling, a realm where loss is not merely an absence but a life force of its own.

Jewish Chronicle

A harrowing testimony to grief… It’s a measure of Grossman’s clarity of thought and his theatrical timing that one reaches its end and feels, in some small way, glad to have been in his characters’ company however grim the road they travel.

Rosemary Goring, Glasgow Sunday Herald

A book that needed to be written.

Kate Kellaway, Observer

On the page the book resembles a play, or a prose poem, possessing at times the qualities of a religious or mystical text... Falling Out of Time is short, and clearly a deeply personal book, but its importance and impact ought not to be underestimated.

Ian Sansom, Guardian

The greatest Israeli writer of his generation.

Lucy Daniel, Telegraph

At once more universal and more personal than anything he has written before.

Josh Glancy, Sunday Times

Slim in dimension but as solid as sculpted rock... Around Grossman’s region, countless parents have had to endure the premature death of children and so enter this “land of exile”. Although it grows from a private, incomparable ordeal, this noble fable speaks for all of them.

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

In this book of sorrows, Grossman captures every shade of grief and guilt. There is very little good writing about bereavement; Falling out of Time is as true and as powerful as CS Lewis's great A Grief Observed.

Kate Saunders, The Times

Strange and passionate... What grips is the emotional suspense that Grossman articulates: that remembering and forgetting can be as bad as each other, that finding a way to understand what happened risks cheapening it.

Simon Willis, Intelligent Life

Fusing prose and verse in the form of a drama, it's a searing glimpse of the most intimate grief but also hints at the possibility of redemption through the act of writing.


A significant new departure in literature.

Stoddard Martin, Jewish Chronicle

Heart-wrenching, moving and worth numerous reads.

Vicki Bartram, UK Press Syndication

A small miracle of literary complexity and invention, which grows on re-reading.

Terry Philpot, Tablet

Falling Out of Time is a novel that will strike a chord with anyone who has suffered a loss and struggled to move beyond it

Brendan Wright, Nudge

A strange, harrowing, deeply soulful and, in moments, quite unexpectedly beautiful book

Billy O’Callaghan, Irish Examiner

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