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.’
Debut novel about one man’s descent into mental illness, following the death of his brother in childhood. Filer is a mental health nurse with a unique and startling insight into mental illness, and this book highlights a much-neglected subject.
The Shock of the Fall was totally different from the books I usually read. I had never read about a character that’s dealing with mental health issues. I thought it was a very real book and I liked it for sure. But I just don’t think this is my kind of topic per se.
I found the story a bit unsettling but at the same time it was a sort of addicting read. Once I started reading the book I had a hard time putting it down. I actually ended up reading 200 pages without stopping when I started it and after that it didn’t take very long to finish it. Not many books manage to grip me like that, that’s for sure.
It’s sort of hard to say anything about the actual story. It’s just something you just gotta read for yourself. It got better and better the more I read in the book and I must say that the writing style was pretty unique. I also liked how the story jump to different times, though it can get a little confusing.
I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about schizophrenia but I thought the author did a really good job in capturing Matthew’s thoughts and feelings. It all felt very realistic and for a first time author I thought this book was pretty remarkable.
His stand-up poetry has been a regular fixture at festivals and spoken-word events across the UK, and has been broadcast on BBC 3 television and radio 4, 7 and 5 Live. He is also a BBC Best New Filmmaker and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.
He lives in Bristol with his partner and their baby daughter.