‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’
There are books you can’t stop reading, which keep you up all night.
There are books which let us into the hidden parts of life and make them vividly real.
There are books which, because of the sheer skill with which every word is chosen, linger in your mind for days.
The Shock of the Fall is all of these books. The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness.
The Shock of the Fall is author Nathan Filer’s debut novel and our book club choice for November.
Firstly, I want to mention the stunning cover. I’m so glad I bought a copy because you wouldn’t be able to appreciate this cover with an e-reader …dark but stunning with a lovely embossed feel!
Told in the first person by Matthew, he takes us on an emotional journey detailing his life as it is in the present; moving into his own flat, dealing with the drugs, injections and the treatment he’s receiving for Schizophrenia and flipping back to his childhood and relationship with Simon and his parents. Ultimately leading to the events which lead to Simon’s death and the consequences which follow for his family.
Considering the subject matter of mental illness and grief I never felt depressed or burdened by it. As part of this is written from Matt’s point of view as a child/teenager it’s told in quite a lighthearted way but is still an extremely insightful look into this mental illness.
I liked how part of the book is written on his typewriter that Nanny Noo had given him. She was such a stability in his life and a generous warm character.
As the plot does move back and forwards in time, often on the same page, I wasn’t always clear where we were in time and I found it a bit confusing but on reflection, it’s actually meant to be like this which adds to it’s believability. I actually thought I must be reading an autobiography.
Overall this is easy to read and understand, a very touching novel which I thoroughly recommend everyone to read.
Connect with the author, Nathan Filer via
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