Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2013
‘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.'
The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man's descent into mental illness. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.
©2013 Nathan Filer (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"A stunning novel. Ambitious and exquisitely realised, it's by turns shocking, harrowing and heartrending. The writing is so accomplished it's hard to believe it's a debut - it's clearly the work of a major new talent" (S J Watson)
"Nathan Filer is following in the footsteps of Mark Haddon's genre-setting The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Both funny and painful… you're going to love it" (Daily Mail)
"Bittersweet and wonderfully etched…perceptive and moving" (Daily Telegraph)
"A deeply moving (but also funny) first novel" (Kate Saunders, The Times)
"I found it dark, touching, sweet and funny and beautifully written…one of the best books about mental illness." (Jo Brand)
"A compelling story of grief, madness and loss. Filer has an ear for the dark comedy of life, and Matthew is a charismatic lead character who draws you in even as his world falls apart" (Observer Magazine)
"A tragic and comic account of living with schizophrenia. A must for fans of Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook" (GQ)
"A stunning debut - sad, poignant, real and very very readable. For a first time novelist, Filer has an impressive grasp of complex narrative, and a character we can all care about" (Stella Duffy, author of The Room of Lost Thing)
"A terrific debut: engaging, funny and inventive" (Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine)
"Nathan Filer is following in the footsteps of Mark Haddon's genre-setting The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Both funny and painful…you're going to love it." (Daily Mail)
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"Tender and heartwarming"
This is a wonderful. The author has been careful to maintain a realistic picture about mental illness, and yet it is not completely bleak. The image of Matthew alone in his flat obsessively working at his typewriter is heartbreaking but this is mitigated by the persistence on Nanny Noo who's love pervades this story.
The grey area between being a normal person and somebody who is defined as mad is brilliantly depicted. All of a sudden reading a book becomes 'reading behaviour'' in the eyes of the observer. In addition I really began to understand why people resist being subjected to drug regimes that are merely a blunt instrument to deal with the problem.
I have met a number of young people who have suffered the same problems as Matthew. This story has helped me understand a little of what they are going through.
The narration from Oliver Hembrough is first class and his Bristol accent adds an authentic
air to the story.
"Captivating characters and a facinating journey."
The concise language used for a complex subject gives the reader a clear view from inside the mind on a young person dealing with grief, it is not a sentimental or depressing read but rather an enlightening tale of the cause and effect of mental illness on a typical family.
I liked the way the author gives all the family members a point of view. The services available to help families were shown to be well meaning but at times useless, this injected humour at times, the narrative is speedy and the story truly takes you on a journey of discovery.
I thought the narrator brought the main character life and that he gave the story the pace it needed.
This book made me laugh out loud and also cry for the unfairness of life. I would also say it gave me a feeling hope.
This book deals with a very difficult subject in a wonderfully written story, the characters are all very "alive", even when they are not. A brilliant read.
"An amasing book"
I would definately listen to it again, all the characters were brilliant
I loved the way he describes the centre it is so true to life
I adored Nanny Noo, I wish everyone one has that person in their lives.
I loved how the story was carefully unravelled
How he loved his brother
Both it made me laugh and cry
I had reservations when I started reading but I very soon could not stop listening
Read in two days
I had just read Cuckoo's Calling and I found myself reading another book about fratricide. But this one is different. It is told through the eyes of a young man with mental health problems, deeply troubled by the death of his brother. Whether the illness was caused by his involvement in his brother's death, or by the effect it had on his parents, or the effect of having a disabled sibling, or whether he would have been susceptible, we will never know but in a sense that is irrelevant. This story is written by the young man himself taking us through the events of his childhood and adulthood. The ending is poignant as we realise, as he does, that his mental health issues will always be with him and need careful management. The story comes to an end without an ending, but that is because that is the only way it can. I would not have wanted the book to go on any longer than it did, but it is well read. If you want to be touched by these issues and want to think about a book after you have read it, give this book a read.
"The Shock of the Fall -loved this book"
It's one of my top three
About mental illness
Loved everything about this book & performed brilliantly by OIiver Hembrough
"The story of a boy's descent into mental illness"
One of the best and I've listened to a lot!
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon.
Both books give a simple but deeply moving account of a boy living with mental and emotional differences but, whilst similar in some ways, they are also very different.
The plain and simple narration, no frills, nothing fancy, just a boy.
Having lived thorough my own difficult times, this book resonated very deeply with me.
I loved listening to this book and have bought the paperback 'real book' version so I can keep it forever.
"A one sitting listen"
A thought provoking novel, totally believable, able to make you laugh and to cry. This is obviously an author to look out for.
"Wonderfully moving and beautifully narrated."
This was written with such honestly and simplicity I felt it had to be an autobiography. It was a fascinating journey into the pscyhe of this young man as well as a well told story without being maudlin. I loved the fact that Matthew, the main character, was essentially such a kind person. This shone through with his treatment of his grandmother and one felt that he just had to get better. Well done to the narrator. Lovely Bristol accent and he told the story in a lovely "straight" manner.
"Very thought provoking!"
Loved it, especially near to the end. That's where the real fun began.
"Poignant view of mental health issues"
I found this book really touching. It gives a rare insight into the world of a schizophrenic. The narration was excellent and allowed you to hear and picture the characters.
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