The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer

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Genre: Contemporary, Mental Illness, Alternative.

Target age: Adult.

First Published: May 9th 2013 by HarperCollins

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‘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.

This was a different book for me; normally I enjoy the simpler, less gritty novels. However something about this grabbed my attention and I picked it up. I read it on holiday and I think because I was relaxed it helped as it could be a hard-going novel if you’re stressed. On the other hand, I thought the storyline, although simple, had its fair share of plot twists to keep it interesting, though it was the alternative narration style that I particularly liked. It is completely different to any other book that I have read, which is why I took to it – I like alternative, experimental styles of writing. Also, it enabled me to understand the reader’s location as he didn’t give a huge amount of information and thus this means I could understand the narrator’s emotion. This book was hard-hitting, but it helped me understand and emphasise with those who suffer from mental conditions, as it is written in first person narrative and it taught me a lot about what it is like to live with mental health issues. The narrator is an interesting character and I felt as though I got to know him extremely well, which is something I particularly enjoyed, as I feel that if you can get to know a character really well, then the book is so much more readable – and enjoyable too! I’ve already recommended this book to someone who I know enjoys reads that are slightly alternative to your average novel and I would be sure to do so again, as this really was a great book.

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