‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name is 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.’
The Shock of the Fall is the debut novel by Nathan Filer. It has won the Costa book award for best first book 2013 and that kinda tells you how brilliant this book is going to be!
The book is written from the view point of Matthew Homes, who after losing his brother Simon in a tragic accident, is diagnosed with schizophrenia. The story is set out and told in a series of flashbacks and incomplete fragments of memory coupled with occasional drawings and official letters.
I loved the fact that although Simon is killed off pretty early on in the book, the circumstances of his death are not apparent straight away and Nathan Filer has done an excellent job in teasing us with little snippets until **BOOM**, there it is!
There are some truly wonderful characters throughout the book and my favourite has to be Nanny Noo, she has her own secrets but is 100% supportive of Matt, popping round once a week to see how he’s getting on, cook and clean for him and smoking one of her illicit menthol cigarettes in the kitchen. She never lets Matt’s illness faze her, and their relationship is beautifully portrayed throughout.
Don’t worry the book isn’t all doom and gloom, there are some lovely laugh out loud moments despite the fact that it focuses on the spiral Matt faces into mental illness.
It’s hard to believe that this is the authors first novel and I for one cannot wait for his next one!
My rating: – definitely not one to miss!!
The Shock of the Fall is available here