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The Shock of the Fall [Paperback]

Nathan Filer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (975 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

7 Jan 2014


‘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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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Borough Press (7 Jan 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 000749145X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007491452
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (975 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 (published in the US as Where The Moon Isn't).

Product Description


‘Exceptionally moving without being sentimental – we're very much hoping there will be more from this writer… astonishingly sure-footed…’ Rose Tremain

‘A gripping, exhilarating read… passages that have a sort of simple poetry’ GUARDIAN

‘Authentic, funny and hauntingly sad’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘The simple prose is spot-on as the plain, honest voice of a teenager…smart eye for human foibles…a poignant, moving story that well deserves its Costa win’ INDEPENDENT

‘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

‘Utterly convincing… great craft’ EVENING STANDARD

‘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

‘Poignant, funny and harrowing’ DAILY EXPRESS

‘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’

‘A tragic and comic account of living with schizophrenia. A must for fans of Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook’

‘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

About the Author

Nathan Filer is a registered mental health nurse. He is also a performance poet, contributing regularly to literary events across the UK. His work has been broadcast on television and radio. The Shock of the Fall is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking-a real page turner! 3 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down! I was hooked from the start, and felt enormous sympathy for the main characters. The way the plot was gradually revealed was extremely clever, and his deep background knowledge of the subject was both obvious and key to the novel's success.
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115 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 12 May 2013
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning.. 15 Feb 2014
By Mel R
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was totally gripped by this book from page 1. The story seems simple...a journey through mental illness..sounds dire?? Not at all!! The writers style is beautiful, full of pathos and humour and pithy philosophical insights. Lots of quotes to highlight. Recommended without reservation.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 25 July 2013
By Gizmo
I saw this book in a book review in a magazine and thought I'd give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading the novel.

It's striking and quirky, the novel is written from the point of view of the main character and it allows the reader to really see into the depths of his character and how he was able to spiral into mental illness. I thought the way that the author depicted this downturn into his character to make him end up in an mental unit was well expressed and clear. The guilt that he felt about his brothers death was touching and the way that the scenes after his death and how his family went on living were really sad and very realistic.

One of the reasons why I think it is so effective is that the author previously worked as a mental health nurse so he was able to impart specialised knowledge of dealing with people with mental illness and mental deterioration.

I loved this book and am so glad that I took a chance on it and would certainly recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the first page 10 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really found this book mesmerising, sat and read it in a day. Its nice to sit and read a book that grabs you from the onset and doesn't turn into a hard slog to complete it. Interesting a well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel 14 Feb 2014
By C P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nathan Filer's compassion and understanding of mental health issues shines through this outstanding novel. I would highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Real 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was well written. I felt drawn into the situation. The frustration of the parents and how it must have effected their lives. It was such a tragic situation for the whole family. But there was always Nanny to give her support to a very troubled grandson.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend! 12 Feb 2014
By Abigail
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is gripping from the start to the end, very well written with a lovely story. The ending is great also.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Loved this book, well written and very believable and written by someone who has some real knowledge and insight into mental health.
Published 4 hours ago by B. Redmill Sorensen
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
Sadly I really didn't enjoy this book. I thought I was going to having read other reviews. I just found it slow, there was nothing to pull me in. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by steve coldrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
It's been a long time since I've read a book that I couldn't put down... This is a compelling and fascinating insight into the mind of someone who thinks so very differently. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by C. Dawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I couldn't stop reading. I really felt like Matt was real and he was talking to me. I love this story!
Published 22 hours ago by Hannah Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and thought provoking read
This was a very interesting read, dealing with a complex and emotive subject. The reader develops a fondness for the main character whilst remaining on edge about his potential. Read more
Published 1 day ago by David Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great book
Published 1 day ago by Andreeeaaaaaaa
5.0 out of 5 stars easy read. One has great empathy with the characters ...
Didnt put this book down till i got to the end - enjoyable, gripping, easy read. One has great empathy with the characters and I really didnt want it to end where it did. Read more
Published 1 day ago by matt velour
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This book was compelling, sad and thought provoking.
The reactions to the death of a brother are frighteningly plausible. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Brian Vincent Cursley
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Can't put into words how amazing this book was. A must read and must read again and again and ag
Published 1 day ago by sheryl louise newsome
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book because I felt it showed great empathy ...
I enjoyed this book because I felt it showed great empathy with Matthew's mental health issues. This book confirmed my belief that bad events during childhood, especially if they... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Liz Haynes
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