The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky

''The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky'' is a 2006 memoir by Ken Dornstein about his older brother David Dornstein, who was killed in the Pan Am 103 bombing on December 21, 1988. David had dreamed of becoming a great writer, but died at the age of 25 without having published anything. The book traces his younger brother's attempt, years after the crash, to finally get to know and understand him, through research, interviews, and David's own voluminous writings: letters, drafts, and innumerable spiral-bound notebooks filled with "(r)andom thoughts, poems, dream images, bizarre theories, pretend interviews, scalding self-critical passages and the outlines of impossibly grandiose projects."

David and Ken Dornstein grew up in Pennsylvania; David was six years older than Ken. After graduating from high school David attended Brown University. David dreamed of becoming one of the world's great writers, although most reviewers say that his writing was not very good. At the time of his death there were reports that he had with him on the plane "the manuscript of a brilliant novel eagerly awaited by an American publisher", but in fact "(t)here was no great novel, and there was never going to be one." Ken went on a years-long investigative trek, sorting through the "Dave Archive" of his brother's writings and traveling all over the country as well as to Lockerbie and The Netherlands to piece together the story of David's life and death.

In a college writing class, David once wrote "the first draft of a work he thought might be his ticket to immortality. It would be a fictional autobiography, the story of an unknown young writer who dies in a plane crash, leaving behind a cache of papers and notebooks that the narrator stitches together into the story of the writer's life. Someone else, it turns out, lived to write that book."

It was reported in 2007 that Warner Brothers was working on a film adaptation of the book, to be adapted and directed by Niki Caro. Provided by Wikipedia
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