Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Title: The Shock of the Fall
Author: Nathan Filer
Cover Artist: Charlotte Farmer
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 9th 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction
Page Count: 320
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: No

Where you can buy it: Amazon, The Book Depository, Waterstones, Ebay, Barnes and Noble

Add to Goodreads

I bought this book one day whilst I was with Kendal and I had bought Eleanor and Park at the same time. I was itching to read it because I had previously heard about it and heard some praise after it won the 2013 Costa Book of the Year. I got around to reading it a couple of months ago and here is my review.


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. 

First Page:

*This review is spoiler free - it doesn't assume you have read the book*

I found this book very touching, even though I didn't feel as much sympathy for the main character, Matt, as I perhaps should have done. For everything that he's going through, there are answers and ways to help make most of it better, but it seemed as though he wanted things to get worse at times, which isn't a good impression to have of a schizophrenic. I understood that some things could not be helped, and I felt so bad that he ended up with the condition, but everyone was telling him that it wasn't his fault that his brother died, and... well... it was. 

I did feel more sympathy for Nanny Noo (who was my favourite character by far and just the cutest person ever and an absolute star for putting up with everything she did) but I absolutely hated Matt's mother. She was probably the reason why he couldn't get any better quicker. 

Despite all of this, it really did feel like you were getting into the head of a schizophrenic. It was really realistic and shocked me all the way through, which was the effect that the book was most likely hoping to do. There were lots of hard topics covered in the novel, not just schizophrenia, and I really appreciated that. 

I'll be honest, it wasn't perfect. But I think that's a positive thing in this case, because no one in the book was perfect, and it isn't pretending to be something its not. The whole book is unconventional and a little bit brilliant.

One thing I did love was the writer's voice, because it was strong and reassured us that Matt was a person, despite his mental illness. 

In the end I gave it 4/5 cups of tea, because it was captivating to read and I couldn't put it down whilst I was on holiday. It was a new experience to read and I am appreciative that it is a book, as it explained fully that people with mental illnesses are not crazy... They're human. And I think people needed to know that.

About the author:
Nathan Filer is an award winning British novelist. He attended the Ridings High School in the village of Winterbourne in South Gloucestershire. Filer trained as a psychiatric nurse gaining a degree in Mental Health Nursing from the University of the West of England and has worked as a researcher at the University of Bristol. He is now a lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University. 
Where to find Nathan Filer: Website, Twitter, Goodreads 

1 comment:

  1. I have just started reading the book. 50 pages in, I can't say I sympathize with Mathew, but the writing is great! the book is getting thicker with sticky notes already.
    Nice review by the way!


Hi! I'd love to hear your thoughts on my posts; good or constructive! My blog is a safe space for everyone who wants to read and use it and so I would discourage any hateful, offensive or explicit comments.