Book Review: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

‘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.’

16120760It has been a long time since anything has left me a sobbing mess. But, after finishing this 307 page emotional rollercoaster, I can pretty much guarantee that anyone with stocks in Kleenex will be happy. This novel is one that not only sticks with you, but shapes you and changes you into a person better-off than before. The harsh reality of mental illness is explored and the dark depths of obsession, schizophrenia, and unrelenting grief brought to light in what I believe is one of the best books I have ever read.

The story follows the life of Matthew Homes, a young man tormented with grief over the death of his brother Simon and plagued by schizophrenia, a mental illness frequently characterised by audiovisual hallucinations. The novel does not follow a strict timeline, adding to the feel of impulsiveness and randomness that Matt himself experiences constantly. A chapter may span as many as ten or more pages, or as little half a page with illustrations, and yet you are never left feeling cheated out of an experience, never left angry at the author for being brief.

Filer creates a suspense that I have not felt in a book in many, many years; creating a page-turning, excitement-riddled, ‘holy-crap-it-has-been-five-hours-where-has-the-time-gone’ experience that is hard to resist and impossible to put down. You will find yourself becoming emotionally invested in every character; feeling love for his mother, his Nanny Noo, his father, and, most intensely, his brother Simon.

I want to keep writing. I want to keep telling you all how amazing this book is, how life-changing and stereotype-shattering it is, but I won’t. What I will tell you is that you need to read this book. Loan it from the library. Buy it from your local book shop. Request it for a gift from your partner or mate (cheers Dan). Read this book, experience it, and thank me later.

 

Image attribution:

See the official Goodreads site for this book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16120760-the-shock-of-the-fall?from_search=true&search_version=service

All image use intended for criticism and review under the “Fair Use” Doctrine. No copyright infringement, defamation of character, or other economic infringements are intended, and all respective rights remain the properties of their respected owners.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandra Hardy says:

    You need to bring this next time you’re home, please !

    Like

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