WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2013
WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS POPULAR FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014
WINNER OF THE BETTY TRASK PRIZE 2014
It is recommended readers use the Publisher's Fonts as they are crucial to the storytelling.
‘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.
The 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.
‘Exceptionally moving without being sentimental – we're very much hoping there will be more from this writer… astonishingly sure-footed…’ Rose Tremain
‘A gripping, exhilarating read… passages that have a sort of simple poetry’ GUARDIAN
‘Authentic, funny and hauntingly sad’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘The simple prose is spot-on as the plain, honest voice of a teenager…smart eye for human foibles…a poignant, moving story that well deserves its Costa win’ INDEPENDENT
‘A stunning novel. Ambitious and exquisitely realised, it's by turns shocking, harrowing and heartrending. The writing is so accomplished it's hard to believe it's a debut – it's clearly the work of a major new talent' S J Watson
‘Nathan Filer is following in the footsteps of Mark Haddon’s genre-setting The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Both funny and painful… you’re going to love it’ DAILY MAIL
‘Bittersweet and wonderfully etched…perceptive and moving’ DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘Utterly convincing… great craft’ EVENING STANDARD
‘A deeply moving (but also funny) first novel’ Kate Saunders THE TIMES
‘I found it dark, touching, sweet and funny and beautifully written…one of the best books about mental illness.’ Jo Brand
‘Poignant, funny and harrowing’ DAILY EXPRESS
‘A compelling story of grief, madness and loss. Filer has an ear for the dark comedy of life, and Matthew is a charismatic lead character who draws you in even as his world falls apart’
‘A tragic and comic account of living with schizophrenia. A must for fans of Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook’
‘A stunning debut – sad, poignant, real and very very readable. For a first time novelist, Filer has an impressive grasp of complex narrative, and a character we can all care about’ Stella Duffy, author of The Room of Lost Thing
‘A terrific debut: engaging, funny and inventive’ Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine
About the author
Nathan Filer is a registered mental health nurse. He is also a performance poet, contributing regularly to literary events across the UK. His work has been broadcast on television and radio. The Shock of the Fall is his first novel.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This beautifully woven and bittersweet tale of grief, madness and family is totally worth the hype. Simon was killed in a mysterious childhood incident that plagues his brother, Matthew, and triggers psychotic episodes. Registered mental health nurse Nathan Filer won the 2013 Costa Prize thanks to his sensitive and heartrending first-person narrator, Matthew, who’s struggling to get to the bottom of his sibling’s downfall. We were awestruck by Filer's creative storytelling. He uses doodled illustrations, typed-out pages and even handwritten notes from concerned social workers to create a story that rings as true as it is powerful.
Uncomfortable but real
The portrayal of Matt and the struggles he faced with his mental health left me squirming and wanting to ease some of the pain. I liked how the novel explored the inward looking aspects of mental ill health and how isolating this can be. It felt like the theme of grief ran perfectly alongside this too. Is there anything more isolating than pain that comes from loss?
The book was without a happy ending per se, which felt very real. However I liked that there was some hope. After each night the sun rises again. This was the pattern that I picked up.
Not for me
Couldn’t get into it. Hard to follow not for me. Read first few pages and deleted.
This is a good book. I couldn’t put it down. Read it in a day.