The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Finished reading on 1st December 2015

The Shock of the Fall

Title: The Shock of the Fall

Author: Nathan Filer

Publisher: The Borough Press (imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)

Series Status: Standalone

Number of Pages: 307

My Rating: 3//5 stars

TEXT - Synopsis

(Found on Goodreads)

‘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.’

TEXT - Review

This was a book that I found difficult to rate. I didn’t really know what to make of it. I very rarely read contemporary books, but this one I got a while back, and for some reason it just grabbed my attention this time.

Going into the book I didn’t know much, apart from it’s about mental illness, and starts off with the main character’s brother dying – as seen in the synopsis. Just from this you can gather that it’s quite a hard-hitting story. I do applaud Nathan Filer for daring to write a story about mental illness, since there are some people who wouldn’t try in fear of getting something wrong.

The story was written from the main character – Matthew’s – point of view. From his words you can see how his mental illness (this being Schizophrenia) is affecting him; one minute he’d be fine and the next he’d burst into an angry rant. At first I didn’t understand. His thoughts would be erratic and jump all over the place, so it was difficult to keep up. But I did feel like I was learning. This was the first book I’ve read that’s specifically about mental illness, and I do feel like I’ve taken something from it. Every so often paragraphs like this would come along and I’d get a small insight to what it was like:

Mental illness turns people inwards. That’s what I reckon. It keeps up forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.

When telling the story, Matthew would always leave a chunk missing, giving an air of mystery to the book that seemed entirely unintentional. His words were realistic, blunt, sometimes brutally honest. There was no sugar-coating in this novel.

But I’ve realized why I’ve found it so hard to rate. I didn’t enjoy reading this book…but I found it interesting. If that makes any sense. I felt like Matthew’s story needed to be told, so I read it.

I do understand why there are so many high ratings for this book. It’s such an honest book, how can it not grab people’s attention? But for me, I just wasn’t quite as captivated as everyone else.

Rated 3//5 stars


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