Book Review: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

GoodReads Rating – 4.5 Stars

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer is one of the books I bought from the Amazon vouchers my boyfriend have me. I didn’t initially plan on buying this book, but it was so cheap and so high up on the Amazon best seller list that curiosity got the better of it, and I’m glad it did.

The Shock of the Fall is incredible. The blurb itself is enough to suck anyone into it’s pages…

‘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’

…how could you resist?! So the book follows the life of a young guy called Matt. Matt is struggling both with the death of his brother when he was a small child along with his own mental illness. We are told the story by Matt himself, in a memoir he writes mostly for himself, over a number of years. The plot itself is very all over the place. You can tell that Matt really doesn’t care about the reader understanding and following his writing, just so long as he can understand and follow it. We are given the story of Matt’s life almost through two different versions of himself, one who is 19 years old, and starting to develop his mental illness and realise what is happening to him, and also 21 year old Matt in a mental institution who is trying to recover.

I went into this book very much blind, so that’s all I’m going to say about the plot so as to not give too much away. I will say that I love the way this book is put together, with 19 year old Matt writing on a typewriter and written in typewriter style font, as well as classic novel font from when he is telling the story as a 21 year old so I thought that was an interesting way to break those two time lines up. We also find letters from mental health professionals to Matt and Matt’s madness almost spilling onto the page with broken texts and sentences like this

I must be honest and say I read 40 pages of this book and found it quite slow and not what I was expecting from the blurb, but after going back to it a couple of days later I finished it in one afternoon. It is truly a wonderfully honest story about mental health and grief. A very interesting and heart wrenching read which I would recommend to all.


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