The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer | Book Reviews | General Fiction

By Louise Phillips

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, tells the story of Matthew and Simon, two brothers who are separated yet united by a tragic accident. Exploring themes of loss, grief and mental illness, the novel transports the reader directly into the mind of Matthew and his decent into madness as he confronts his role in the boyhood death of his older brother ten years earlier.

This is an extraordinary novel, and reminded me in parts of a wonderful book I read a number of years back, which has stayed with me ever since, called ‘Carry Me Down’ .

There are lots to grip you about The Shock of the Fall, firstly it’s a very unusual narrative, but also the absolute ability on the part of Nathan Filer to be both funny and inventive, to touch your heart and mind, to deliver prose that you don’t want to put down, that is equally moving, tragic, heartfelt, pure and memorable, and at the same time, feels very different to anything you have read before.

Acquired in a hotly-contested eleven way auction, The Shock of the Fall has been described as a brave and ground-breaking novel from an exciting new voice in fiction. Featuring a cast of expertly crafted characters, The Shock of the Fall, is quite simply one of those books that will stay with you. And, I wasn’t one bit surprised to discover that Nathan Filer is a mental health nurse. The novel is littered with insight and is touchingly harrowing without ever falling into sweet sentiment. There is no room for sweet within the four hundred or so pages, poignancy, yes, human frailty, yes, sharp shocking reality, absolutely, YES.

It is clever, real, gripping, and pure. I’m already looking forward to his next book.

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 including BBC 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live. His 2005 poetry short film Oedipus won the BBC Best New Filmmaker Award and numerous other accolades, including Berlin’s Zebra Poetry Film Award and the Audience Choice at Toronto’s World of Comedy Film Festival.

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