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The Shock of the Fall [Kindle Edition]

Nathan Filer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,672 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2013

WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS POPULAR FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014

WINNER OF THE BETTY TRASK PRIZE 2014

It is recommended readers use the Publisher's Fonts as they are crucial to the storytelling.

‘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. It is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.


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Review

‘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’ 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

‘A convincing portrayal of an articulate boy in the grip of a powerful illness, and an absorbing account of a grief undischarged’ SUNDAY HERALD

Review

‘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

‘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

‘A page-turner, tender and tragic, told in a vulnerable voice that steps in and out of madness. Vivid and haunting, I keep replaying this story in my mind, reliving it, long after having read the final page’ Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice

‘I have become an evangelist for The Shock of the Fall. It won me heart and soul with it’s crazy, wild, fine voice, its bravura, its ambition, its harrowing corners, and the dense rich tiny core of love at its glowing, radiant center. I loved this book cover to cover and word by word; I want to give it to everyone I care for’ Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

‘Original and affecting. Filer’s ability to capture Matthew’s voice shows a special talent’ Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1641 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (9 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009YBTU6Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,672 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nathan Filer is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He has worked as a researcher in the academic unit of psychiatry at the University of Bristol and as a mental health nurse on in-patient wards. He has written for television and radio. The Shock of the Fall is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, special little book 22 Mar. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved The Shock of the Fall. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and will stay with me for a long time. Filer offers one of those rare novels that makes you fall in love with the characters, the world and the story. This novel reached deep inside my chest and squeezed my heart so hard I could hardly breathe. The Shock of the Fall is a brave novel written in the first person by someone who is diagnosed as schizophrenic as a teenager, telling the story of how their down’s syndrome brother died when he was 8 years old and how the grief affected him and his parents. I loved Matthew’s voice and how real and heart-breaking it was at times. I love the different styles used in the novel (i.e. using a different font or a hand-written letter) to show Matthew’s mental state at different points in his recovery. I love it when writers use characters who are mentally ill or have a condition like down’s syndrome. These often make the best books because they force the reader out of their comfort zone and such books stand out from the millions published every year. I finished The Shock of the Fall at work, sitting in the canteen and crying like a baby, grateful it was Sunday and there was nobody else around. The Shock of the Fall is breath-taking and I can’t wait to see what Filer writes next.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite brilliant 28 Jun. 2013
By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For once this is a novel which justifies the publisher's hyperbolic claims - it really is terrific. I found it utterly engrossing, readable, funny, enlightening and very moving.

This is the story of Matthew, a young man who suffers from schizophrenia. It is narrated by Matthew himself and one of the most striking things about the book is the brilliant authenticity of his narrative voice. I am no expert on schizophrenia, but to this layman it felt and sounded utterly convincing, shifting in tone according to his medication and whether he is taking it, capturing things like Matthew's anger, wit, bitterness and sadness with remarkable vividness and painting an unforgettable picture of the things which happen to him. It took me right inside that young man's head and gave me a wholly believable picture and understanding of what he is going through and why he behaves as he does.

The story is superbly told. The structure is fragmented as Matthew writes in various places and states of mind and we get his history woven into descriptions of what is going on as he writes. Again, this is excellently done and really adds to the feel and sense of the book rather than just being a novelistic trick. Other characters and places are brilliantly painted and he captures (and sometimes excoriates) the language and types of speech of others (especially medical staff) extremely well. I found the whole thing compelling in that way where I felt very glad to have half an hour free to read some more.

I think there's always a worry with a book like this that it is using a Big Subject and a Clever Narrative Voice to market a mediocre novel. This does nothing of the kind: it avoids mawkishness, it is never sentimental and it treats its subject with respect even when being very funny about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding. Possibly my new favourite! 1 Jun. 2015
Format:Paperback
I read this a while back last year, however, I'm still raving about it. What a beautifully written, evocative and emotional story.
It's narrated by Matthew, the main character of the book who suffers from a mental illness. Tragedy strikes in his family at an early age, and this is the story of his struggle to overcome the guilt and loss he has been living with ever since his brother died.
Filer writes this novel in such a way that you cannot help become emotionally entwined with the story and indeed it's characters - they made me laugh, angry, sad and were at times, very thought-provoking.

Being a Psychology student, I cannot fault the account given by Filer about Matthew's struggle with Schizophrenia (of course, each sufferer has their own account of what it's like to have a mental illness), however, I felt like it was very accurately written and sensitively dealt with.

All in all, and in my own opinion, of course, this book is absolutely faultless. The mystery of how his brother died (which isn't revealed until nearer the end of the novel) absolutely grips you and doesn't let go. Each character is so raw and real you cannot help but empathize with each and every one of them. I couldn't put this book down.
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190 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 12 May 2013
By Welsh Annie TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When reading at the weekend, I have some rules - I can read before getting up, but must not sit down with it again until after lunch. With this wonderful book, I tore up the rulebook and read it in one glorious sitting.

I was absolutely fascinated by this story narrated by Matthew Homes, a teenager suffering with mental illness in the wake of the sudden death of his brother Simon. For a difficult read in terms of subject matter, this is an easy and flowing read - a strange comment maybe, with the fragmented time frame, the different typefaces, and the dips into and out of Matt's mental illness, but it was all accomplished so effortlessly. There are lovely touches of humour, acute observations about life and human behaviour, and a set of exceptionally well drawn subsidiary characters.

I particularly liked Matt's parents - the tableau presented of them sitting as a family watching Eastenders, the father's awkwardness with his "mon ami" greeting and secret handshake, and the mother's attempts at home schooling after Simon's death (where Matt was forced to make deliberate mistakes to get her attention). His grandmother, Nanny Noo, is also a wonderful creation - calling at Matt's every other Thursday, cooking pasta bake, smoking one of her menthol cigarettes from the kitchen drawer, and already familiar with mental illness elsewhere in the family. I also loved the use of letters - Denise's attempts to get Matt to attend his medical appointments, and particularly the wonderful invitations.

It's hard to believe this is a first novel, so accomplished is the writing - but from hearing the author interviewed on Simon Mayo's Book Club, I know this book was a long time in the conception and writing, and that he continues to work as a mental health nurse. An incredibly moving read, and very highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good
Interesting read, good story
Published 15 hours ago by stevet
5.0 out of 5 stars This will stay with you for a long time!
A novel that I will not forget in a hurry, beautiful, sad, sometimes humorous it makes you realise that there is always a hidden depth to those who suffer from mental health... Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Tracy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved it. Page turner from the start.
Published 1 day ago by Rachel
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant novel.
Utterly brilliant. Fantastic sense of voice and character—funny, poignant and totally compelling. What a wonderful and original read. Cannot believe it's a debut.
Published 1 day ago by Caroline Lea
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shock of a good book!
Excellent book, I was bereft after finishing it. The character of Matthew and his family members are so well written they really draw you into their lives and you want the best... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Sam Whitlow
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent book. Very thought provoking.
Published 3 days ago by martin lavelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, clever, sad and funny!
Each character is so well written and their emotions so well described, that you feel their sorrow and desperation like it was your own.
Published 3 days ago by SH
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I have to say that it's a well written and original novel but I failed to warm up to any of the characters.
Published 3 days ago by Tatyana Cornell
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating and disturbing
A stimulating and disturbing read, well -written in an engaging style.
Published 3 days ago by Caroline
2.0 out of 5 stars You get an understanding of what the family go through & the never...
It took along time to get into this book, wasn't sure if it was the authors own live story at first, but realised after that it's written by his experience as a mental health... Read more
Published 3 days ago by caroline
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