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He does not idealise the staff or the patients, both of them have good days and bad days and this was remarkably refreshing. I could not deny that I did not gain something from the text, but it was also pleasant to find that an author did not shove his or her ideology down my throat to the extent that the book merely appeared distasteful. Even better was that Filer managed to inject sharp bursts of humour which cut through what could otherwise be an oppressive narrative to entertain and make the work somehow more real.

This book is difficult and it is also disturbing. However, it grabbed my attention and held it so that I read the work in a single day yet relished every word. It is beautifully constructed and I'm sure it will not only remain with me for a long time because of its subject matter, but also because of its original construction. Many have said that this book will go far, and I am certainly inclined to agree with them. View all 3 comments. Jun 09, Regan rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-owned-read.

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Such an unbelievably honest story. Such an engaging read, straight into my favourites for the year! We are told of the tragic death of Matthew's brother during childhood and how he blames himself for its occurrence. As the reader we are unsure as to whether Matthew is actually guilty of the death of his brother or whether it was just a tragic accident. Nearer the end of the novel we discover the real story as to how his brother died. We watch as his mental health suffers under the pressure of the self-inflicted guilt surrounding his brothers death.

Seeing Matthew grow throughout the novel was touching. I became really attached to him as a character and really wanted him to succeed in overcoming the struggles in his life. The flow of his words and the way they came off the page was fantastic and I became totally absorbed by his voice. If you like a book with a beautifully captivating protagonist - this may be the one for you! If you have any interest in mental health or specifically schizophrenia this is a must read! He makes constant remarks about his mental stability, and his re 4. He makes constant remarks about his mental stability, and his reasons for writing the story.

But when Simon died in an accident partly caused by Matthew, he kept on living in Matthews head, a product of his guild and schizophrenia combined. It is almost impossible to discern which parts of his story are true, and which are the product of a damaged mind.

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Matthew is only nineteen, extremely vulnerable, and his thoughts are all over the place, jumping through space and time from one short chapter to the next. As Matthews mental health deteriorates, his narration becomes less coherent, often making no sense whatsoever.

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His relationships with family and his only friend go downhill fast, because, as Matt himself keeps pointing out, schizophrenia is a selfish illness. There is a lot of resentment between Matt and his parents. His early teen years were rebellious, probably because the schizophrenia already affected his moods, and he made life difficult for everyone, himself included. It is a constant, life-long struggle one needs to accept and make peace with.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer - Paperback | HarperCollins

Nathan Filer is a brilliant young author with so much to offer. His first novel is endearingly odd and in many ways spectacular. I have never read anything quite like this book before, it is a unique experience traveling along in the mindset of a mentally ill young man. I remember going to the theaters and seeing the movie "Beautiful Minds", I loved this movie, was completely blown away.

That is how I felt at the end of this book. First time book for author Nathan Filer, and since he was a mental health nurse in previous years, he knew what he was writing about.


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Matthew, our unreliable narrator, has a voice tha I have never read anything quite like this book before, it is a unique experience traveling along in the mindset of a mentally ill young man. Matthew, our unreliable narrator, has a voice that is very real and very innocent. After a tragedy in his family, from which he never really recovers, the trigger for his illness is set. We follow him as he tries to live in a life that is difficult and strange, for him things are never simple. His stays in a psychiatric wards and how his days are spent there, repeatedly going over the same things again and again, doing the same things , again and again.


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His courage and determination to get well, to write it all down so it could maybe make sense. Wanting to have a life, live on his own, the right to live in his own head if he wants too. Little victories, large set backs all poignantly rendered. It was impossible for me not to embrace this character, by books end we know almost everything about him and want everything to work out for him.

A haunting and powerful take on guilt, death and mental illness

In the beginning I wondered what was going on in this book but as the reader continues with the story , he is amply rewarded. More and more things are revealed as Matthews story goes back and forth. Wonderful first novel and look forward to many more. Mar 03, Dem rated it really liked it Recommended to Dem by: Noeleen.

I was recommended this novel and was assured it was a good audio book as I struggle with audio as opposed to reading and I have to say the narrator is excellent and he totally draws you into the character of Matthew to such an extinct that you feel it is actually Matthew narrating the story.

Matt Holmes is a 19 year old schizophrenic struggling within the mental h Nathan Filer's Debut Novel The Shock of The Fall is haunting and very real insight to death and mental illness. Matt Holmes is a 19 year old schizophrenic struggling within the mental health system who decides to put his thoughts to paper when his Nana buys him an old typewriter and hopes his scribbling and notes will be therapeutic and bring him some freedom.

I have an illness, a disease with the shape and sound of a snake. Whenever I learn something new it learns it too My illness knows everything I know. The story is an unsettling and yet important one and really makes you think about the difficult subject of mental illness and the struggles of patients and families. I believe the author worked in this field himself and therefore had a good insight into the topic he choose to write about.

It is by no means an uplifting story but it definitely is worth reading. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but I think if you have a look at the reviews and do choose to read it you will not be disappointed. This would make a good book club read as there is plenty of discussion in it.

I loved the cover and the title of this book and will buy a copy as would like to have it to read another time. I read the majority of this book within the last 24 hours. But good books have the ability to make you forget everything around you, and The Shock of the Fall did just that. The Shock of the Fall is all of these books. My favorite aspect of this book was probably the style of narration and the fact that the book was a metafiction in some ways.

The protagonist and narrator Matthew is writing down his own story in various places and over a longer timespan, while his life is still progressing. We learn about conflicts in the past and in the present day. He often interrupts his own narration, reflecting on what he already mentioned and sometimes even foreshadowing on what's going to happen later.

Mentally unstable narrators who offer unique views of the world are so interesting to me, and I love getting inside of their head. There was also a short interview with the author in the back of my edition which offered some insight into his work process, which was really interesting! However, sometimes it feels like a romance is just thrown into the story for good measure. This book completely worked without romance even though I would still say that it's a book about love So, yeah.

That's all I wanted to say for now. If this review has made you curious in any way, definitely give this book a try! It's worth your time.

The Shock of the Fall

Shelves: net-galley-reviewed , books-that-made-me-think , could-not-put-down , books-i-own. One of my more unique reads this one, I was wary of the hype around it, but really enjoyed reading it.

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I love the way the book is written, for a debut novel it's quite exceptional, it's an emotion stirring book and thought provoking too. It's essentially the story of a young man's descent into mental illness, from childhood events to trying to live as an independent adult and on to life in a mental health care facility. What is spectacular about this book is how immersed in our main character yo One of my more unique reads this one, I was wary of the hype around it, but really enjoyed reading it.

What is spectacular about this book is how immersed in our main character you get, he is telling the story of his life, his feelings, thoughts, his mental illness, it's a bit like sitting in the room with someone, listening avidly to their life story. And feeling things along the way. The book cleverly gives you snippets of a story, then later on you get more of that story to give you the fuller picture, so there is a lot of a-ha moments, at least there was for me.