Matthew Homes is a nineteen year old with schizophrenia and The Shock Of The Fall is narrated by him; his Nanny Noo gives him a typewriter so he decides to tell his story. His mental health issues started after the death of his brother Simon and have gradually got worse. Simon died when he was twelve and Matthew only nine, and ever since he has blamed himself.
The book moves back and forth and covers lots of time periods from before the tragic event to the present day, but is never confusing. It perfectly gets across Matthew's state of mind and we also get an insight into how all of the family coped with their grief; I loved all of the characters.
There were moments when I had tears in my eyes but I never found it depressing. Also considering the subject matter it is quite an easy read; I picked it up just to make a start and was almost half way through before I put it down again. This would be an impressive novel for any author and is even more so considering it is Nathan Filer's debut. So often I'm told or hear good things about a book only to be disappointed, that certainly wasn't the case with this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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.
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.