The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel

The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel

by Rich Marcello


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Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.

Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.

Guided by Dan’s leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635054026
Publisher: Langdon Street Press
Publication date: 10/25/2016
Pages: 378
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
JeyranMain More than 1 year ago
The Beauty of the Fall is a story written about Dan Underlight. This fictional story describes the life of Dan being a technology executive who is divorced and suffers from the loss of his son. As he gets fired from his job, Dan decides to go through 500 companies picking up ideas and methods in order to create his own organization, creating excellent software. Just like everything else in life, as soon as Dan’s idea and software take off, his previous employer decides to give Dan grief over the concept of originality and theft of intellectual property. Dan’s life is once more tipped and turned, and he has to straighten things up. The story resembled a Mark Zuckerberg story. It also touched sensitive topics such as domestic violence, loss, dealing with death and the loneliness one feels when they have been lonely. The story enticed the reader to feel more compassionate towards its characters. While the protagonist had his own issues, the company he creates is aimed to relieve people from similar problems. I found the literature to be easy to understand and to follow. The pace of the tale was decent and kept the reader engaged. I believe this fictional story would benefit readers that enjoy relatively easy-going books.
lizasarusrex More than 1 year ago
Dan is the focus of self destruction. His life hits unexpected roads and turns, that lead to eventual success, but the paths that he chose at times were difficult. The entire book is full of twists and turns that take the characters in different directions physically and emotionally. You can tell that Rich Marcello knows his way around words, as it was written beautifully. His words flow like poetry, but read like a novel. The book is written like a dream, with events and situations morphing into one another. In some parts of the book, it’s written purely for portrayal. I feel you can sense the emotional turmoil from the characters, as well as the author himself. He seems to have a connection with the dark side in his mind, which helped set the tone for the readers. I found it to be very emotional in both dark with some hopeful scenarios threaded thought. While still having the theme of being very dream like, I think it flowed very well. The reader shouldn’t interpret this as confusing, but as interpretive. This is not the type of book you read once. I would think this will be a book, read again and again, finding something new and different to think about with each new experience reading the book. Just the authors writing style could take one read through just to get the hang of. Overall, I would give this a 4/5, although it was amazingly written, this is a more difficult book to get through, since it’s more than just absorbing the plot.
JLaper More than 1 year ago
Dealing the loss of not only his Job from a business he helped to build from the ground up, but also the loss of his young son that has torn him up emotionally. The Beauty of the Fall is about a man who must pick himself up and find a way to move forward and then fight to keep what he has created with his second chance. The characters are real for the story and fit in perfectly with all the events that take place involving them. As for the writing style it was interesting and read like some words are missing when describing a person’s action at the time so I got a little confused. The book cover is not all that interesting, it really would not catch my eye if I say it in the store. The books jumps around without giving a clear line that there is a time shift making it hard to follow. Despite the story being about a guy who is starting over to build up another company from the ground up after being tossed to the curb from the first one it is fictional with some real events that can occur to anyone. This is a general fiction for more mature audiences due to some of the subject content. I would not really recommend this book, though it is one I may mention in passing.
RedPolishedFrog More than 1 year ago
With his book The Beauty of the Fall Rich Marcello offers to the reader a nice relaxing way to find out how a person can start building his life from step one after the Big crash. The story is about ups and downs, pain and satisfaction, losses and winnings. When Dan, technology executive loses his job when still suffering for the death of his ten years old son his whole world collapses. He can’t find the reason to continue his seamless living when things turn in different direction thanks to a poet named Willow. She gives to Dan enough strength to help him fight with the isolation and depression I his life. The story is about being able to survive no matter what life hits you with. There is probably only one way to regroup yourself when you don’t see any reason to live – to meet the right person to show and explain you that it’s worth it. It’s about believing, dreaming and accepting. It’s about life itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really did enjoy The Beauty of the Fall. I was able to get to know the characters in a more in-depth way than I expected. You really get to know the main character over a long length of time. You see his ups and downs. His strengths and weaknesses. You also can see the consequences of his actions. The author really goes in depth into what I feel is position is with things in this world. I highlighted a few things in the book. The main character goes through so many things and you see the results, whether they were good or bad. I do wish the author would have shortened the detail of a lot of the book. The author was overly descriptive to me and it broke the flow of the book at times for me. There were some points of the book that did make me think. I'm also glad the author did touch on some of the current issues in America. Overall I did enjoy the book.
chrucas2 More than 1 year ago
The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel by Rich Marcello - This is a beautiful story about humans being real. It has such amazing characters. It is such GREAT, deep writing! This book has sadness, happiness and all emotions in between! Willow and Dan are the two main people in the story (at least to me). They are also great characters that have an amazing connection. If you are having doubts, or questioning mankind (especially right now), PLEASE read this story! It will heal your soul and show you the way to a simple way to live. I cannot believe how much I enjoyed reading this book. I couldn't put it down, and that doesn't happen very often. I love this story, and I just want to say thank you to Rich Marcello! It was amazing! I would give this book 5 stars (out of 5!). I am seriously telling you, this isn't just a book, it is an experience!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story about Dan Underlight and the challenges he faces. As a divorced man he must also deal with the untimely death of his ten year old son, Zack. Haunted by the fact that he spent more time with work than he did his family and he can't change things he seeks the help of the therapist Nessa. When his close friend and boss, Olivia, fires him from the company he put so much effort into his life goes into a tail spin. When he meets Willow she begins to get him straightened out. Willow, a poet, has faced numerous hardships of her own as a domestic violence victim. With Willow's guidance Dan embarks on a new business venture. As Dan faces new trials will he be victorious or will his life slide downhill more? This is a book about getting ahead when everything seems hopeless. Well written you feel empathy for the characters and can definitely relate.
kcopeland8108 More than 1 year ago
The Beauty of The Fall is a realistic novel of a man who progressed in life as most people dream; great job, happy marriage and a wonderful child, but then life steps in and your happy marriage disintegrates, you lose your child and you get fired from you dream job. There are twists and turns along that way, but you travel with the Dan along his journal through the toughest moments imaginable and watch him grow as a person and rebuild his life. The main character Dan is like any workaholic you've ever meet; he loves his wife and his child, but the balance between work and life is a hard mix. If you give too little to either you lose. Dan's progression through the tragedies of his life were eye opening and to see how he used various coping mechanisms was thought provoking. Would I have been able to move on after losing everything? I also liked how the book touched on real life political topics without going overboard. With the sensitively of so many topics, that was a nice change of pace. The technology they developed in the book would be fascinating if it came to be in real life. The book flowed well and with each page turn it left me wanting more. As soon as I thought I had the plot figured a new twist was introduced. It kept me on my toes, but also left me a little frustrated as there were a lot of pieces to keep track of. I would give this book a 4 our 5 and look forwarded to whatever the author publishes next.
Sonalify More than 1 year ago
I loved the title and cover design of this book. After reading the book, I found that Rich Marcello is a deeply disguised idealist as shown in his works. He believes that a person can do real good in this cruel world through the design and promotion of technology with a pure heart. Rich Marcellos The Beauty of the Fall is an absorbing story that tackles mental stress, personal and social conflict. Dan is the protagonist who finds himself suddenly jobless and pushed out of the hi-tech company which he helped in establishing. He fears of this fall which was followed by a divorce and the death of his 10 year old son that completely shatters him but he finds a beauty in this fall and choose not to give up. He builds and starts a problem-solving network. It is a virtual reality problem-solving network that brings together people from all over the world to work on problems that are meaningful to them. I must say that The Beauty of the Fall is an ambitious and idealistic take on changing the world and touching upon the hot topics of our modern age which includes social networks. It focuses on ‘never give up attitude. I enjoyed how Dan made a way to come back in such critical situations. I would like to recommend this book.
BarbTaub More than 1 year ago
On one level, The Beauty of the Fall is about one man’s straightforward journey to building a successful company. On another level, it’s almost a metaphor for what love looks like—as a lover, a father, a colleague, a friend. Dan—who has failed at all those things—is still surrounded by people (mostly women) who love him in different ways. There is the almost maternal care from his therapist Nessa. Wilow’s spiritually romantic love energizes Dan and gives him permission to succeed with his idea for a new company. The frankly sexual physical act from prostitute Katie literally crucifies him even as it provides relief. Dan is left with the realization that his single most successful relationship, at least in terms of time spent together on a daily basis, is with Olivia his oldest friend/enemy. But in a bittersweet act of hope at the end, Dan not only realizes that he’s achieved all his goals, but that success even provides a surrogate daughter figure who seems to combine the best of himself and Willow. There are a few things that didn’t ring true for me here. Time periods to develop world-changing software, let alone propel new companies into the stratosphere were astonishingly brief. I would have liked to see more actual content in the building of the company, but maybe that’s just my been-there-done-that experience. There were a few times when important information is slipped in as flashbacks or later recollections, taking me out of the story as I tried to figure out what happened and when. For example, I found it annoying to have to wait to find specifics of Zach’s death, or to realize what happened to Willow. And don’t even get me started on passing Equal Rights Amendment—languishing before Congress since the 1920s—in one year with the help of speedy-developed tech. But all that pales beyond the achievement of this rich and layered novel. Anyone who has ever worked for a tech company will recognize the trappings—the fancy espresso machines, the sense of mission that makes a business into a cult of leader personality, the feeling that sacrifice of time, sleep, and occasionally hygiene will lead to the holiest of grails, the IPO. And there is the other, darker side of business success in the toll it takes on personal relationships. Dan’s self-awareness is brutally honest: “With each of my lovers I didn’t have the same joy I got from work, or later the joy of being a dad I had with Zack. The truth: my best romantic relationship, if one judges such things by length, was unromantic. I saw Olivia almost every day for sixteen years, and I loved her. Together we were better than we were alone. We had a vision and a purpose; we built something that lasted.” Author Rich Marcello draws on his own corner office experience to nail so many aspects of this story. I particularly liked his depiction of savage power struggles. Pitted against longtime friend and adversary Olivia, Dan realizes: “This is as much about power as it is about content, and any emotional break in my voice will confirm in front of the whole board that Olivia is the pack leader.” And then…wait for it: “Olivia smiles as if the blood is already on her teeth.” That kind of spectacular writing, interspersed with actual poetry, business vignettes drawn from life, and development of a deeply flawed, complex, and charismatic main character made this one of the best books I’ve read this year. For anyone with a technology background, The Beauty of the Fall is a must read. For everyo
CrossroadReviews More than 1 year ago
This was a great book that shows you loss, guilt, and more.  The author did a wonderful job taking you though the emotions and then showing you hope and love!  You really cant help but feel for  Dan Underlight and his situation working for that long and then being fired by someone you thought was your friend. It really makes you worry about your own situation.  Even though this is fiction. This book has some very nice lyrical forms and shows us the software business like never before.  This book is not in poetic form but the writing is so lyrical, breathtaking, and beautiful. This book had wonderful complex characters, a great story, and I just couldn't put it down. If your looking for a compelling novel with a great story and characters and will make you feel.  Make sure to check this book out! You wont be disappointed REALLY. 
NNLight More than 1 year ago
A book that resonated with me on a personal level a number of times. For what was the first 25% I simply loved the book. It was wonderful and I thought it was just going to be a smooth sailing book about a guy who got knocked down but ended up happy back on his feet. There is much more to this book than meets the eye. The author weaves a lengthy tale about a troubled soul named Dan. The character suffers loss after loss after loss after loss and gets about as far down as Job could before finding his path. But I also believe there is a deeper message in this book. This is an incredibly well written book that teaches people the desperate need for the passing of the ERA and focuses a bright spotlight on the horror that is domestic violence. This book shows a fictional way that both of these critical issues can be helped. if only this book could be taken as a guide for modern day America then we could have positive movement in passing the ERA and ending the blight of cowardly men who are so gutless that they raise their hand against a woman. Personally, this book struck home with two passages. The first trifecta of loss that Dan suffers – his divorce, the death of his son and his loss of work…When I was a very young man I lost my Father, the loss of my school year and the loss of my love. This kind of loss isn’t easily conceived if someone hasn’t faced it personally. Further, there was a scene where Dan defended a woman being beaten by beating the coward who beat her and at that time the woman then defended her coward boyfriend. The same thing happened to me last century when I witnessed a man punch his girlfriend and I decked him and was then struck with a purse for ‘hurting her boyfriend’. This gave me quite a kinship to Dan. This is a hard read but it carries a deep and powerful message and should be read by everyone, everywhere. My Rating: 4 stars
TheHungryMonster More than 1 year ago
Fired. Workaholic technology executive, Dan Underlight is fired from his high-paying job at a Fortune 500 tech company by the woman he considered his best friend. Sixteen years of working together reduced to a severance package. He feels angry, betrayed, and heartbroken, but mostly he feels lost. Lost because being unemployed gives him too much time to think about the tragedy of his ten-year-old son’s accidental death, and the guilt he still carries for spending too much time working and not enough time parenting. Before he’s processed this toxic blend of emotions, Dan embarks on a new relationship with Willow, a victim’s advocate, a poet, a lost soul, and an abuse survivor. Their love is deeper than anything Dan has experienced before, but will it be enough when he accomplishes his dream of opening a new tech company, one that is in direct competition with the one he left? Will Dan allow himself to grow into a kinder, more compassionate human being at the same time as he grows his company into a conscientious innovator, or will the demons from his past collide with his present and destroy him? From the very first paragraph, Rich Marcello drew me into his book with a command of the language that I liken to a poet’s. Passages like this one, “He put his head down, tried to rekindle the wildfire he helped birth years ago, tried to daydream down a riven path.” and this one, “Don’t look down, the pinpricks have spouted and are covering the new carpet in blood.” provided me with ample proof early on that Marcello was a real deal literary composer, a master of the language, and a wordsmith with soulful depths. But beautiful language alone can’t make a reader keep reading. Original characters with powerful character arcs and a compelling story to keep all the characters growing is fundamental. No problem there, either. From Dan to his counselor to Willow to his son, stronger characterization is front and center. I know Dan—he reminds me of the author Richard Bach. I know Willow, too, this wild child, compassionate, changer of the world woman who is always strong, always courageous even when her heart is broken. These characters kept me reading. Then we arrive at the story. Characters and language need movement, need story, setting, pace, tension. Marcello has these covered, too. Set in New England, the vivid colors of the seasons remain clear in my brain long after I finished the book. Authors who take the time to divide their books into parts and give them names always receive a grateful nod from me. I like to know the structure of a story before I begin reading, and I like rolling back to the Table of Contents to remind myself what’s next in this journey. The Beauty of the Fall’s Table of Contents is especially brilliant; titles like “So it Spins,” “Build from the Sky Down,” “Spectacles, and Halos and Code” promised each chapter would carry its own mini-story and all the mini-stories would merge to form a powerful narrative. Themes of forgiveness, trust, simplicity, honor, technology as healer, and non-violence echo through the pages of The Beauty of the Fall and held me captive until the end. If I had to name a gripe, it would be that the last chapter was unnecessary. The story should have ended with “The Good-bye Return,” but I can understand why, for closure’s sake, Marcello included “In the Coming.” The Beauty of the Fall will appeal to readers who love a compelling, well-written story with elements of literary fiction, technology f