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The Shock of the Fall [Paperback]

Nathan Filer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,237 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.41
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Book Description

7 Jan 2014

WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 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.’

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: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65 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

Review

‘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’
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

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
15 of 16 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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142 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 12 May 2013
By Welsh Annie TOP 1000 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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77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 25 July 2013
By Gizmo
Format:Hardcover
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 Emotional and lifelike 10 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a community nurse working with people with learning disabilities and also mental health problems. This book made me consider how people with downs syndrome enrich our lives and how mental illness can arise from our past . It make you think of what it's like to be in hospital and how it feels to the
Msbrickleyperson's. It also brings the reality of budget cuts in community services and makes you consider the impact this will have on people. Excellent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 8 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would urge you to read this - a worthy prize winner. I felt I was on the journey with Matt and there was laughter and tears. A stunning debut.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heading back. 10 Feb 2014
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
At first, I couldn't get on with this - too sad, too quirkily presented for me - but I returned to it in the light of the Costa book award win and persevered, ultimately finding it to be a touching and empathetic read.

Some of Matt's thoughts seemed a little too conveniently contrived - one could almost feel the author 'sitting on his narrator's shoulder' - and there are some indulgent moments of sentimentality. But there are also insights here into the mind of the mentally ill and the care environment in which they're forced to live. Congratulations to Nathan Filer on such a successful debut.
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3 of 3 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worthy winner! 10 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An amazingly touching and moving read. Captivating and chaotic a must read. I can't wait for his next book, until then, this one is brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondeful
Love the style the story and the charactors.
Published 3 hours ago by T girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want this book to end
Loved this book from the first page. Such an emotive book and has such excellent observational comedy of the most awkward and dark times. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Laura Key
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant compulsive reading
I read this in no time as I just couldn't put it down. It's so beautifully written, so many little observations about everyday life that really make you think. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Cleversaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is wonderfully well written book. Even better that it is set in Bristol, where I live x
Published 1 day ago by poppettmusic
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.
An engaging if not upsetting read. Mental illness told eloquently from the sufferers viewpoint and the devastating effect of grief told without remorse for the reader. Read more
Published 2 days ago by miss n c burchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 2 days ago by aaga
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fantastic insight into mental illness
Published 2 days ago by Abbey Green Nursery School
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
A wonderful book with a gripping story and incisive dealing of grief and it's effect on families. It is sad, funny, and heart-rending. An excellent novel!
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars though gh
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Published 3 days ago by Danya Gromski
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go ...
Fantastic read. I downloaded this after reading so many great reviews. It looks a mental health from the point of view of the sufferer and really makes you think.
Published 3 days ago by Jemma Westwood
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