This is the only information you get of this book from the blurb, now I picked this up a few months ago seeing that it was Costa’s book of the year and I thought oh if its a book of the year then its gotta be pretty damn good! I didn’t look up on Google of what it was about or anything, so I got stuck in a week ago and finished it within a few days. Now for me that’s good, and surprising considering I went in practically oblivious to its content. Its simply a very different book I’ve read before. So let me give you an outline of what the plot is about…
The Shock of The Fall is a story told by Matthew Homes who is a mentally ill nineteen year old. As he consistently and intentionally exposes himself as the author and communicates openly with the reader. Excuses are made when Matthew is unable to explain something or give more information and makes constant remarks about his mental stability and the reasons for writing his story.
Matthew’s problems stem from when he loses his brother Simon, a child with special needs whom Matthew had often resented from being the center of their parents’ attention. After Simon’s death he keeps on living inside Matthew’s head as a product of his illness.
Throughout the book it is hard to determine which parts of his story are in fact true and others that are the product of his damaged mind. Even though he grows throughout the book, his mental illness isn’t taken lightly like it can be fixed overnight. Its constant and a long struggle that he needs to accept and put his mind at rest.
I found this novel to be extremely moving and something I might not otherwise had read if it hadn’t been in the “must-read” section of the bookshop, I was just blown away by the whole sensitive and yet captivating story.
It’s simply one of those books you don’t want to stop reading, it brought out the hidden aspects of life and made them vividly real. For his first book, Nathan Filer is a fantastic author and to take on such a sensitive subject is truly amazing and I am so excited to read new material of his!