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The Shock of the Fall

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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.'

Debut novel about one man's descent into mental illness, following the death of his brother in childhood. Filer is a mental health nurse with a unique and startling insight into mental illness, and this book highlights a much-neglected subject.

314 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2013

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About the author

Nathan Filer

6 books524 followers
Nathan Filer is a writer and lecturer in creative writing. His stand-up poetry has been a regular fixture at festivals and spoken-word events across the UK and has been broadcast on BBC 3 television and radio 4, 7, and 5 Live. He is also a BBC Best New Filmmaker and holds an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University. He lives in Bristol with his partner and their daughter.

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5 stars
11,336 (24%)
4 stars
18,025 (38%)
3 stars
12,741 (27%)
2 stars
3,467 (7%)
1 star
923 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,508 reviews
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,464 followers
January 20, 2014
Another novel to prove, if proof was needed, how utterly heartless and without pity I am becoming. Sorry, Nathan Filer, I come to rain all over your parade. Well, quite a lot of it.

The blurb has these three little sentences:

There are books you can’t stop reading, which keep you up all night

(Well, I actually was reading this most of last night, but that’s because I had insomnia.)

There are books which let us into the hidden parts of life and make them vividly real.

(Referring to the world of the schizophrenic, since that’s what this novel is all about. But I wouldn’t call mentally ill young people and their lives in and out of institutions a hidden part of life , there are movies (Broken, Silver Linings Playbook, etc etc) and books ( Henry’s Demons – recommended - and lots of others), it’s not terra incognita.

There are books which, because of the sheer skill with which every word is chosen, linger in your mind for days.

(Wow, fire that blurb writer! For days you say?! Sheer skill? I suppose with not so much skill a book will only linger for minutes. So yeah, they still crank out this silly OTT hypegloop.)


This book won the Costa first novel award, so what do I know. I was almost completely unthrilled. It was tiresome. I mean to say, there’s this big thing which is hinted at in the first few pages and which hangs over the rest of novel like a Big Black Cloud About to Burst Forth With Torrential Rain. The schizophrenic brother whose impressionistic memoir/confession we are reading has in some way caused the death of his Down Syndrome brother (yes, this is a blighted family). Cornily, the Big Reveal of What Really Happened That Fateful Day is coughed up only on page 247. The fake suspense of waiting to find out what you figure out roughly from page 5 does not kill you. It just makes you think oh are they still using this plot device? They should really stop.

I thought I would only write a three line bah-humbug review, but the sheer skill with which every single word was chosen has made the crabbiness I felt linger in my mind for… hours.


It says here -

The comedian Jo Brand has called The Shock of the Fall "one of the best books about mental illness" and judges for the Costa book awards said it was a novel "so good it will make you feel a better person".

Maybe it is, maybe it will. But I thought the bleak realism and painful memories of Matt’s story did not then mean it was okay to ladle dollops of sentimental goop into the mix. It’s strange how wildly different reactions to novels can be – look at the love-gush that puthered all over Donna Tartt’s latest whopper, and look at this rather good review here.


You do get a very strong sense of the mental bind that some patients (or : “service users”!) get into once they’re sucked into the mental health biz. The regime is almost designed to engender fear and distrust. They’re confined to a facility. And drugs are administered to them, all of which have horrible side effects (even the drugs they give you to combat the side effects of the first drugs). And there’s no choice in any of this. They have proved they’re incapable of existing in the outside world in one way or another, so there they are, here’s their diagnosis, there’s the drugs (if you don’t take those 6 pills we’ll inject you) and there’s your room. So, the patients become locked into a low-level interior guerrilla war against the people who are trying to help them. Inside their heads – as well as fighting their illness - every mental patient is either consciously or unconsciously Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The staff are their enemies (even the nice ones). (Matt : I don’t hate these people. I just hate not having the choice to get rid of them.) The terminology is dehumanising. Their lives are deserts of idle hours spent smoking with a guy who talks to his tattoos. Or daytime tv, your choice.

Last time I went into the office to borrow the Nursing Dictionary, I counted three mugs, a mouse mat, a bunch of pens, two Post-It note booklets and the wall clock – all sporting the brands of different medicines. It's like being in prison and having to look at adverts for fucking locks.


Matt is haunted by his dead brother

If the tap choked and spluttered before the water came, he was saying I’m lonely. When I opened a bottle of Dr Pepper and the caramel bubbles fizzed over the rim, he was asking me to come out and play. He could speak through an itch, the certainty of a sneeze, the after-taste of tablets, or the way sugar fell from a spoon.

No doubt at all, this book has its heart in the right place, unlike mine, which was abandoned a long time ago in a left luggage locker in a train station in a town whose name I no longer recall.

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,073 followers
August 5, 2018
"This is my life. I'm nineteen years old, and the only thing I have any control over in my entire world is the way I choose to tell this story. So I'm hardly going to fuck about. It would be nice if you'd try to trust me."

I am so fascinated by books that depict mental illnesses. Books such as The Bell Jar, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Countless just to name a few, have really touched me. The focus on the frailty of the human mind is something that resonates really strongly with me, and telling these stories is vital. Certainly for me, they remind me that none of us are alone in our suffering.

The Shock of the Fall follows Matt, and his deteriorating mental health after the death of his brother Simon. We don't find out straight away how Simon died, and Matthew's story is not told chronologically, so at times you have to try and remember where you are. It moves from his childhood with his parents including a mother who was also mentally unwell, to his time living by himself in his flat and finally to the time he spends in a mental hospital.

"If people think you're MAD, then everything you think, will have MAD stamped across it."

A lot of the story is based in my hometown of Bristol, UK, which I didn't realise at the time of picking this book, so that was a nice surprise. This book was so well written, with several parts repeated to indicate the breakdown within Matt's mind. I know very little about schizophrenia, so to read a book focusing on a character's suffering with this illness was enlightening and frightening all at once.

"We don't choose what we keep...not ever, really."

Highly recommend.
February 10, 2017
I always find it hard to write reviews about meh books. Books I love, books I hate, I have strong feelings towards them, but meh... What do you say?

The book is supposedly revelations of how it really is to be schizophrenic and what life in a mental institution is really like and the author is a mental nurse so he knows. As the book has won many awards I was expecting the writing to be better than competent. Perhaps I was expecting too much having just read the searingly brilliant Man Booker prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings.

I must have missed something. I didn't see Matthew's insanity at all. True, his dead brother was his constant companion, although it isn't until the last part of the book referred to that much. True he acts oddly on occasion. But only on occasion, most of the time he seems to be a rather boring young man with nothing much to say, except about himself (a point he himself makes). His thoughts don't seem particularly disordered. Nothing he says or does seems to lead one to think he is terribly ill and needs to be locked up in a secure unit and medicated with endless pills and injections.

I've known a few schizophrenics, two very well, one before he was treated and he was mad (but lovely, I loved him) and the other after he was medicated (he was still very disordered indeed but able to go to college). I also grew up knowing several. Adding to that the books, especially in the last year or so I've read on schizophrenia, they all share one thing in common - a frame of reference when they are psychotic that has an internal logic, but is unique to them and always problematic given that it is quite different from how the world works. I didn't see this in the book at all.

As far as how it really is in mental institutions, how the staff really are, there were no revelations. It was exactly like in tv show. Most of the patients have little to do, just medication to take, are herded from the tv room to therapy to crafts, and all of them chain-smoking. A few of the patients' behaviour is so peculiar that most of the other patients who are "ill" think that they are crazy.

I just don't know what was supposed to be so brilliant about this book. So 2 stars meh, it was all right. And that's the best I can say about it.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
August 10, 2016

I read this for Kimi's birthday tomorrow, Nov. 29! I'm posting it now because I might be too busy tomorrow. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIMI! PUT A SMILE AS BIG AS YOUR HEART BECAUSE YOU DESERVE TO BE THE HAPPIEST ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY! <3 You can read her awesome review here.


This is an interesting read that deals with mental illness, more particularly schizophrenia as a result of a boy’s grief over the death of his older brother. It is a daring but successful endeavor on the part of the author to unravel the tangled world a person with schizophrenia lives in.

It’s a devastating but eye-opening reading experience as Matthew relates in this unadulterated voice how a person like him copes with his kind of illness. We don’t read a lot of these books and this is why books like this deserve to be read and appreciated.

The pacing however was a little slow and the plot tended to be monotonous and at times repetitive. The sporadic, garbled kind of writing has an intriguing quality to it especially during the first half of the story and it made perfect sense because of the condition of the narrator. But after more than 150 pages of said writing, the novelty began to wane and it started to become a bit irritating. It’s the kind a reader has to be very patient with in order to appreciate it. It’s the kind of read that you should be in the right mood in to appreciate it. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t contradict the blurb when it said “this is a brave and groundbreaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction.”

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,539 followers
December 4, 2013
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Sometimes I read books so obsessively that I end up with something like this when I’m finished:

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Then I sit around for a week (or two, or twelve) because I have no idea how to write the review.

It only seems fitting that someone like me (who clearly has an undiagnosed mental disorder) would flag the holy hell out of a book about a fellow with a mental disorder. It also seems fitting that I should let Matthew do most of the talking when it comes to telling you what this book is about.

Matthew has been raised by a mother who “is thin and pale, with cold hands. She has a broad chin that she is very self-conscious about. She sniffs the milk before she drinks it. She loves me. And she is mad.” And a father who “is tall and broad, and stoops a little. He wears a leather jacket because he used to ride a motorbike. He calls me mon ami. And he loves me.” He lived with a brother named “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.”

Matthew was never quite the same after that, either. He’ll tell you that “you notice it when he isn’t there anymore. You notice so many of the places where he isn’t, and you hear so many of the things he doesn’t say. I do. I hear them all the time.”

Matthew will have to confront those demons of the past in order to come to terms with the reality of the present. Generally I find cover blurbs to be wholly inaccurate, but “rare and brilliant” is a very fitting description for Where the Moon Isn’t. Filer really knows how to get you into a character’s soul.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,135 reviews8,140 followers
June 20, 2015
A heartbreakingly beautiful account of trauma, grief, and mental illness. Still processing so much about this story, but it's one that will stay with me for a while. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Hannah Green.
114 reviews29 followers
June 18, 2013
It seems that, by pure coincidence, I have stumbled into a number of books regarding mental illness, however, the depiction that this book utilises is purely unique. This book is quite simply unlike anything else I have ever read, that is without doubt or question.

The use of various fonts interspersed with simple drawings complement well the inconsistent thought process which Matt's thought process follows. Moreover, the subtle references to past events, without explaining full details, created momentum in a plot which could simply have been a procession of unrelated ideas. This book encompassed so many themes on death, grieving and mental health issues that it also feels like it lasted so much longer than it really did - though without dragging in the slightest.

Moreover, the experience that Nathan Filer has gained as a mental health nurse is apparent through his irreverent treatment of the subject matter. He does not idealise the staff or the patients, both of them have good days and bad days and this was remarkably refreshing. I could not deny that I did not gain something from the text, but it was also pleasant to find that an author did not shove his or her ideology down my throat to the extent that the book merely appeared distasteful. Even better was that Filer managed to inject sharp bursts of humour which cut through what could otherwise be an oppressive narrative to entertain and make the work somehow more real.

This book is difficult and it is also disturbing. However, it grabbed my attention and held it so that I read the work in a single day yet relished every word. It is beautifully constructed and I'm sure it will not only remain with me for a long time because of its subject matter, but also because of its original construction. Many have said that this book will go far, and I am certainly inclined to agree with them.
Profile Image for Amy | littledevonnook.
200 reviews1,204 followers
October 28, 2015
Such an engaging read, straight into my favourites for the year!

- This novel follows the story of a young man named Matthew. We are told of the tragic death of Matthew's brother during childhood and how he blames himself for its occurrence. As the reader we are unsure as to whether Matthew is actually guilty of the death of his brother or whether it was just a tragic accident. Nearer the end of the novel we discover the real story as to how his brother died.

- The other vital element to this novel is that not only does Matthew blame himself, but he is also slowly descending into schizophrenia. We watch as his mental health suffers under the pressure of the self-inflicted guilt surrounding his brothers death. Seeing Matthew grow throughout the novel was touching.

- For me, Matthews narrative voice was the best bit about this novel. I became really attached to him as a character and really wanted him to succeed in overcoming the struggles in his life. The flow of his words and the way they came off the page was fantastic and I became totally absorbed by his voice. If you like a book with a beautifully captivating protagonist - this may be the one for you!

- Nathan Filer, being a mental health nurse has quite obviously had a lot of experience within this field and from the writing you can see how much he has fully immersed himself in the characters and relationships. If you have any interest in mental health or specifically schizophrenia this is a must read!

- 5 out of 5 stars and I will definitely be picking up anything else from Filer in the future!
231 reviews5 followers
January 30, 2014
It must be me since reviews of this book were overly positive but I honestly don't know why I took the time to finish reading this novel. I'm baffled by comments that this story could make anyone laugh and cry. It is certainly neither stunning nor a book that one would have a hard time putting down, and I would never recommend this book considering the wealth of options available to readers.

The only positive aspect of this novel is that it presents a very realistic glimpse of what mental illness looks and feels like. The inner thoughts and perspectives of a young man afflicted with mental illness are viewed in comparison to ways treatment centers, care givers, and family members function to serve the needs of their customers and loved ones. For me, the focus on Matthew's hard edges detracted from deeper reflection on other characters. The underlying secret behind Matthew's illness was predictable but Filer attempted to attach some level of mystery to the disclosure by waiting until the end of the book to reveal what had happened early in Matthew's life. The effect was less than satisfying.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,891 followers
December 4, 2013
4.5 stars
Nathan Filer’s debut stunned me and left me speechless. It’s been a long time since I read something so beautifully written.

Where the Moon Isn’t is a story told by Matthew Homes, a mentally ill nineteen-year-old. It’s a metafictional novel, as Matthew constantly and intentionally exposes himself as the author and communicates openly with the readers. He provides excuses when he’s unable to explain something or offer further details. He makes constant remarks about his mental stability, and his reasons for writing the story.

Matthew’s problems started when he lost his older brother Simon. Simon was a child with special needs and Matt often resented him for being the center of their parents’ attention. But when Simon died in an accident partly caused by Matthew, he kept on living in Matthews head, a product of his guild and schizophrenia combined.

From the start, Matthew’s placement in the mental institution and his slightly odd storytelling hint at the possibility that he’s not the most reliable of narrators. It is almost impossible to discern which parts of his story are true, and which are the product of a damaged mind. Matthew is only nineteen, extremely vulnerable, and his thoughts are all over the place, jumping through space and time from one short chapter to the next. But still, it’s his unforgettable voice that holds this narrative together firmly and effortlessly.

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.

As Matthews mental health deteriorates, his narration becomes less coherent, often making no sense whatsoever. His relationships with family and his only friend go downhill fast, because, as Matt himself keeps pointing out, schizophrenia is a selfish illness. There is a lot of resentment between Matt and his parents. His early teen years were rebellious, probably because the schizophrenia already affected his moods, and he made life difficult for everyone, himself included. Even though Matthew grows in this story, his mental illness isn’t taken lightly as something that can be fixed overnight. It is a constant, life-long struggle one needs to accept and make peace with.

Nathan Filer is a brilliant young author with so much to offer. His first novel is endearingly odd and in many ways spectacular. I simply can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with next.

Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,735 reviews14.1k followers
December 25, 2013
I have never read anything quite like this book before, it is a unique experience traveling along in the mindset of a mentally ill young man. I remember going to the theaters and seeing the movie "Beautiful Minds", I loved this movie, was completely blown away. That is how I felt at the end of this book. First time book for author Nathan Filer, and since he was a mental health nurse in previous years, he knew what he was writing about.

Matthew, our unreliable narrator, has a voice that is very real and very innocent. After a tragedy in his family, from which he never really recovers, the trigger for his illness is set. We follow him as he tries to live in a life that is difficult and strange, for him things are never simple. His stays in a psychiatric wards and how his days are spent there, repeatedly going over the same things again and again, doing the same things , again and again. His courage and determination to get well, to write it all down so it could maybe make sense. Wanting to have a life, live on his own, the right to live in his own head if he wants too. Little victories, large set backs all poignantly rendered. It was impossible for me not to embrace this character, by books end we know almost everything about him and want everything to work out for him.

In the beginning I wondered what was going on in this book but as the reader continues with the story , he is amply rewarded. More and more things are revealed as Matthews story goes back and forth. Wonderful first novel and look forward to many more.
Profile Image for Dem.
1,186 reviews1,097 followers
August 31, 2016
Nathan Filer's Debut Novel The Shock of The Fall is haunting and very real insight to death and mental illness.

I was recommended this novel and was assured it was a good audio book as I struggle with audio as opposed to reading and I have to say the narrator is excellent and he totally draws you into the character of Matthew to such an extinct that you feel it is actually Matthew narrating the story.

Matt Holmes is a 19 year old schizophrenic struggling within the mental health system who decides to put his thoughts to paper when his Nana buys him an old typewriter and hopes his scribbling and notes will be therapeutic and bring him some freedom.

I have an illness, a disease with the shape and sound of a snake. Whenever I learn something new it learns it too.......................My illness knows everything I know.

The story is an unsettling and yet important one and really makes you think about the difficult subject of mental illness and the struggles of patients and families. I believe the author worked in this field himself and therefore had a good insight into the topic he choose to write about.

It is by no means an uplifting story but it definitely is worth reading. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but I think if you have a look at the reviews and do choose to read it you will not be disappointed.

This would make a good book club read as there is plenty of discussion in it. I loved the cover and the title of this book and will buy a copy as would like to have it to read another time.

Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,305 reviews1,234 followers
December 12, 2018
One of my more unique reads this one, I was wary of the hype around it, but really enjoyed reading it. I love the way the book is written, for a debut novel it's quite exceptional, it's an emotion stirring book and thought provoking too.

It's essentially the story of a young man's descent into mental illness, from childhood events to trying to live as an independent adult and on to life in a mental health care facility.

What is spectacular about this book is how immersed in our main character you get, he is telling the story of his life, his feelings, thoughts, his mental illness, it's a bit like sitting in the room with someone, listening avidly to their life story. And feeling things along the way.

The book cleverly gives you snippets of a story, then later on you get more of that story to give you the fuller picture, so there is a lot of a-ha moments, at least there was for me. I found it sad in parts, I really felt for his struggle against the illness that has hold of him, his moving between lucidity and delusion. Epically done.

Is it worth all the hype and a must read book? I think so. It's just different from almost all the books I have read this year. I found it easy to read, interesting, thought provoking and powerful with it's message sent. 4 stars from me. I really liked this one.
Profile Image for Lotte.
546 reviews1,106 followers
February 10, 2017
I read the majority of this book within the last 24 hours. I just couldn’t stop reading and even neglected some of the stuff I should’ve been doing instead. Oops. But good books have the ability to make you forget everything around you, and The Shock of the Fall did just that.

‘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.

My favorite aspect of this book was probably the style of narration and the fact that the book was a metafiction in some ways. The protagonist and narrator Matthew is writing down his own story in various places and over a longer timespan, while his life is still progressing. We learn about conflicts in the past and in the present day. He often interrupts his own narration, reflecting on what he already mentioned and sometimes even foreshadowing on what's going to happen later. I will say however, that I was very happy that I knew about this style of narration before going into this book, because it might’ve confused me at first.
I’m convinced that Matthew’s voice is the reason why the book had the same strange addicting quality that these kind of books often have for me (other examples include It’s Kind of a Funny Story, We Have Always Lived in The Castle, Forgive Me Leonard Peacock - wow, these are all some hefty titles! :D). Mentally unstable narrators who offer unique views of the world are so interesting to me, and I love getting inside of their head. You could really feel how Nathan Filer immersed himself into this character and this story, so I couldn’t help but completely immerse myself as well. There was also a short interview with the author in the back of my edition which offered some insight into his work process, which was really interesting!
Somehow, I was really happy about the fact hat there was no romantic interest in this book, even though it’s technically a YA book, and I rarely see YA books without some sort of romantic story line. However, sometimes it feels like a romance is just thrown into the story for good measure. This book completely worked without romance (even though I would still say that it's a book about love... just a different kind of love!) and I really appreciate that!
So, yeah. That's all I wanted to say for now. If this review has made you curious in any way, definitely give this book a try! It's worth your time.
Profile Image for GTF.
76 reviews99 followers
February 14, 2019
Many parts of "The Shock of the Fall" that aim to evoke sentimentality and sorrow, fall a little flat. The narration is very yappy, but that being said there are some nice quotes and occasional tenderness throughout the book.

The plot was often gearing towards how Simon died, which really could have been told from the very beginning seen as the story was told from the perspective of Matthew (who was a witness) but instead it wasn't revealed till the very end. I acknowledge that it is a traumatic memory for Matthew but it didn't make much sense for him to wait so long to tell the reader given that Simon was one of the main subject matters of the book, and also because he was undergoing treatment for a large part of the story which involved counselling which would usually involve confronting traumatic memories. The entire memory of the death incident should have floated through Matthew's head at least once at an earlier stage in the story. When a book is being told from the perspective of a character, the reader is inside the character's head and therefore there are no secrets. But maybe I am only complaining about this as I found the death scene anti-climatic and not very surprising or memorable.

Another issue with the character of Matthew, is that Matthew is a diagnosed schizophrenic but does not consistently exhibit the disorder. He does act strange on occasion but overall his language is coherent and his thought patterns are not that disrupted. Come to think of it, I don't think that a story could be told from the perspective of a schizophrenic as it would be very confusing and unintentionally erratic and I say this not with the intention of trivializing schizophrenia but instead highlighting how tragic a condition it really is, as it mentally separates sufferers of the disorder from the real world and sections them into a darker and isolating world due to erosion of cognitive functions. I think that the story would have been better told from the perspective of Simon's mother or else a third person narrative with Matthew still being a main character.
Profile Image for Elahe.
195 reviews60 followers
February 24, 2017
قطعا تو لیست بهترین کتاب هایی قرار میگیره که امسال خوندم و قراره بخونم.
داستان روایتی پراکنده از یک بیمار روانی هست. متیو همراه بردارش از خونه خارج میشه اما تنها بر میگرده. بعد از اون اتفاق همه چی برای خودش و خانواده اش تغییر می کنه.
احساس گناه ناشی از اون حادثه و شرایط زندگیش توی سال های بعد باعث میشه دچار فروپاشی روانی بشه و داستان روایتی پراکنده است از زمانی که در بیمارستان روانی بستریه و زمانی که اون حادثه اتفاق افتاده.
شخصیت متیو به قدری واقعیه که کاملا میشه باهاش همذات پنداری کرد. چون راوی خودشه خیلی قسمت ها کاملا نمی تونه همه چیز رو به خاطر بیاره و بعضی وقت ها مخاطب رو گیج می کنه که روایتش ساخته و پرداخته ذهن بیمارشه یا واقعا اتفاق افتاده.
من از نزدیک با بیمارای مبتلا به اختلالات روانی برخورد نداشتم اما روایت داستان از زبان مت به قدری واقعی و قابل درک بود که حس می کنم یک بیماری با اختلال متیو قطعا این طور با دنیای اطراف و درون خودش درگیره.
ترجمه کتاب هم واقعا روان بود. بخش های مختلف داستان که متیو با دستگاه های مختلف تایپ می کرد فونت های متفاوت داشت و همین موضوع هم باعث میشد بهتر با داستان ارتباط برقرار کنم.
در کل اگر فکر می کنین روایت پراکنده استان گیج و خسته اتون نمی کنه و داستان هایی با تم روان شناسی علاقه دارین حتما این کتاب رو بخونین.
Profile Image for Teresa.
429 reviews107 followers
April 11, 2013
Nathan Filer is a registered mental health nurse as well as a performance poet and his real-life experience is evident in this, his debut novel. The story is narrated by Matthew, a nineteen year old schizophrenic who recalls the sudden, tragic death of his older brother, Simon – a death which he believes he caused.

The use of mixed formats, different fonts interspersed with occasional line drawings cleverly mirrors the ebb and flow of Matthew’s mental illness. Likewise, the narrative flits between different stages in his life, before Simon’s death, after Simon’s death, during hospital stays, independent living. This is an extremely honest account of one man’s journey through mental illness but there is also humour and great insight from Matthew as he sees how his brother’s death tore his family apart and left them adrift.

The characters are living, breathing creations, with their own foibles and imperfections. You see the heartache of Matthew’s parents who, having lost one son, feel they are losing their only remaining child. His Mum, is at her wits end, making lots of noise whilst Dad retreats into silence. His grandmother, the wonderful Nanny Noo, accepts Matthew as he is, visiting him at his flat every other Thursday, never passing judgement.

"If it wasn’t for Nanny Noo I wouldn’t give a shit, but when somebody cares for you as much as she does, I know it’s not nice to make them worry."

This is a beautifully written, moving story – the beauty is in the everyday detail of Matthew’s life – from the fleeting memories of a holiday in France to the stultifying routine of an acute psychiatric ward – eat, sleep, smoke… It’s a novel which will stay with me when others have disappeared into the ether �� you won’t forget Matthew in a hurry and you cannot fail to wish him well….or just to keep his head above water…
Profile Image for Debumere.
518 reviews7 followers
January 14, 2015
Just no. I didn't find this book "engaging" or "deeply moving" or "inventive" at all.

These were words used by reviewers from the Daily Telegraph, The Times and some other another author.

The book was not "compelling" either, I've read more compelling stories on the back of the washing powder box.

Were the other books vying for the Costa prize that awful? This, I have to find out.

I must admit the part I liked the most was when we got to the core of the story, the death of Simon. The writing was "compelling" then for a couple of pages. That's why I gave it two stars.

1 star for a first timer and another star for the few pages. If the book was written like that for at least more than 70% of the time 5*. (Well maybe 4) I like movement and the story was just too slow.

Well done to Nathan Filer for writing a prize winning book - fair play to him. I couldn't do it.

Go read The Locked Ward by Dennis O'Donnell. It's factual, and, compelling.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tania.
1,200 reviews271 followers
January 6, 2015
We are selfish my illness and I. We think only of ourselves. We shape the world around us into messages, into secret whispers spoken only for us.

3.5 stars. This was upsetting, but very insightful. To describe the descent into schizophrenia in such a vivid and moving way, you must have some experience with this illness in real life. So it made perfect sense when I read that the author has been a registered mental health nurse, working in psychiatric wards, for more than a decade.

I think what I liked most about the book, is how Nathan Filer played with time. The story keeps jumping around in time, and quite a few times I wasn't sure where we were. This is what it must be like for Mat all the time - Time falls through my fingers. You can also feel the incredible sadness that surrounds the whole family after Simon died, and see how everyone tries to cope with the situation. Matthew is one of the most honest characters I've ever met, but that's possibly because his reality is not as fixed as most other people.
Also, I loved the cover.

Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,484 reviews12.8k followers
August 26, 2016
Matt Homes is a young man from Bristol with schizophrenia, writing out his life story which centres around the death of his Downs Syndrome brother when they were children. As Matt’s narrative progresses, we learn there’s more to his brother’s death than he initially lets on and that this is why he carries around feelings of guilt.

The Shock of the Fall is a character portrait rather than a narrative driven book - unfortunately, for a character piece, I never really felt like Matt had much of a well-defined character to start with; it’s sketchy at best and oftentimes feels uneven. The best work Nathan Filer did with Matt was show how his brother’s death devastated his life but how much of that life was due to that haunting event or his own schizophrenia is unclear.

I have no experience with schizophrenia so I can’t say whether Matt’s behaviour is realistic or not, or even when or how the illness manifests throughout the narrative, but I was never sure whether his actions were the result of personal trauma or mental illness.

What I mean is, was the point of the novel about a person coming to terms with a traumatic childhood experience or about someone dealing with mental illness, and if so, why have these two unconnected elements side by side - what’s the reader supposed to focus on? I guess given the way the novel ended, it was about Matt coming to terms with his brother’s death, but what that has to do with his schizophrenia is unclear. Did he even need to have schizophrenia? Maybe the hallucinatory sequences wouldn’t have had as much weight if he did, but what a contrived reason to have that illness if that was the point!

It’s an easy to follow narrative but a very dull one. Filer uses his own experience as a mental health nurse to inform the novel and the passages set in the treatment centre were convincing. If there’s one element that stays with you, it’s the clear picture of mental health treatment in England today, and how soul-draining it is for patients.

But other than that, there’s no plot to follow, few other characters, and a narrator with very little personality or much to say. It’s an extremely slow read despite being relatively short and the “reveal” of his brother’s death happens about 60 pages before the end when it should’ve been the conclusion of the book - those last 60 pages were a real slog only to build up to an overly sentimental, corny Hollywood-esque ending.

At best this reads like a Young Adult novel that’s trying a bit too hard to be literary or a creative writing assignment completely devoid of feeling or insight. After the novel is a brief interview with Filer and I noticed when he was asked “were you reading any books during the writing process” he mentions Catcher in the Rye and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, which is really telling. Parts of the book - like the typewriter font pages - read like Holden Caulfield’s voice, where Matt’s character suddenly becomes very biting and he turns into a whiny teenager, while other parts of the book are more matter-of-fact and observational as if Christopher Boone were speaking. There are even pointless doodles thrown in a la Curious Incident!

The Shock of the Fall is a very shallow novel that wears its influences too obviously to be taken seriously as an original or thoughtful work. It tries some strange stylistic tricks like drawings or font changes to little effect and for no reason - variety maybe to distract the reader from the dull prose? - and rather than be moved by Matt’s story, I was frequently bored or unclear as to what the point of many scenes were.

This book won the 2013 Costa Prize but I shouldn’t be surprised that this prize-winning novel is awful. I mean, who knows how to pick out great literature better than a judging panel made up of the lead singer of Texas, an actress who was once in a George Clooney movie, and a TV presenter, for a prize sponsored by a coffee chain?
Profile Image for Ikram.
211 reviews1,279 followers
February 7, 2015
"There was the shock of the fall and the blood on my knee and Simon had carried me. He carried me all the way to safety, all by himself, because he loved me."

This book left me speechless. It was so honest and gave a very real insight to both death and mental illness. The first thing that came to my mind when I started reading this book was that it somehow reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger. I'm not sure why.

After reading this blurb, I picked up the book immediately:
"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."

The shock of the fall is the story of Matthew Homes, narrated by himself. Matthew suffers from a mental illness and tries to deal with the death of his older brother Simon, which is basically the point where everything starts going downhill for Matt. He used to be a little jealous of his brother because the latter was a child with special needs so he always got all the attention of their parents, but when Simon dies tragically, he continues to live in Matt's mind.

As Matthews mental health deteriorates, his narration becomes less coherent. It is almost impossible to decide which parts of the novel actually happened and which ones were just the creation of his own mind. Matt is not the most reliable narrator and sometimes he doesn't even make sense. He jumps from one topic to another and that's when the line between the past memories, the present consciousness and the future expectations blurs.

Matt's mental illness was not taken lightly in this book, and this is what made it feel so realistic in my opinion. It wasn't introduced as something that can be fixed overnight. It's a daily struggle for the patient and his family.

The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it made me feel so sad but that's not enough to take a star off.

Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah .
713 reviews480 followers
May 11, 2021
I was not a fan of the writing style, the weird timeline and the mix of the older and younger voice simultaneously.

I liked how you could see it was not only him struggling with the passing of his brother, but his parents are too. We can even see this through his point of view.

I didn’t feel emotionally connected to anything. It was underwhelming because I felt like I was supposed to feel emotional, and I wasn’t.

The ending made me feel a bit more emotional, but by that point it was too little too late. I’d lost interest.
Profile Image for Ghazaleh.
159 reviews107 followers
August 25, 2017
این پراکندگی روایت ها خیلی اذیت کننده بود به نظرم، مخصوصا که علاوه بر پراکندگی، بعضی جاها روایت هایی تعریف میشد که فقط زاییده ذهن متیو بودن و تو باید خودت اینو میفهمیدی که این روایت ها واقعی هستن یا نه!
و از نظر من ترجمه خیلی بدی بود، نمیدونم من اشتباه میکنم یا واقعا اینطور بود. جمله ها خیلی نامنسجم بودن انگار!
Profile Image for Dolceluna ♡.
1,090 reviews68 followers
February 1, 2019
Chissà perchè gli editori italiani hanno il vizio di “addolcire” sempre i titoli originali dei romanzi, me lo sono sempre chiesta. Io il titolo originale vado sempre a leggerlo, lì, a qualche pagina dall'inizio, e questo era “The shock of the fall”, ovvero “Il trauma della caduta”. Un titolo che, rispetto a “Chiedi alla luna”, bello, dolce, poetico ma a mio avviso lontano dalla storia narrata, ci avrebbe fatto presentire quello che davvero troviamo fra queste pagine: la storia di un evento traumatico, che cambia per sempre la vita dei protagonisti.
E così, prima di inziare, credevo ingenuamente che mi sarei trovata fre le mani fra le mani la storia di un ragazzino, Matthew, e del suo fratellino “diverso”, Simon, il cui viso tondo gli ricorda la luna, come narrato nel retro di copertina.
Poi, andando avanti, ho capito che questo straordinario romanzo di Nathan Filer, diceva molto, molto di più.
E’ un libro sui disturbi mentali, innanzitutto. Diciamolo senza preamboli e senza gir di parole. Disturbi mentali. Di questo si parla, un argomento che fa paura, che talvolta è considerato ancora tabù. Nelle prime pagine avviene lo shock, appunto, che verso la fine metteremo meglio a fuoco, e la conseguenza è che la vita di Matthew, già cresciuto in una famiglia dagli equilibri fragili e instabili, sbarella del tutto. La scrittura è un viaggio nella sua psiche allucinata, dove incontriamo disordine, solitudine, monotonia, rabbia, arresa, con una grafia che spesso rispecchia esattamente le cadute, le sospensioni, i fatti registrati, della sua mente…Mi ha ricordato molto da vicino l’indimenticabile “Molto forte, incredibilmente vicino”. Sbandamento, allucinazione, tanto dolore. E tanto desiderio di abbracciare questo ragazzo solo e in lotta coi su demoni, e la madre che prende pastiglie da anni, il padre impotente, e la nonna che lo va a trovare, e cerca di fare il possibile per aiutarlo. Le parti che lui batte a macchina, e che sono riprodotte esattamente così, con i caratteri di una macchina da scrivere, sono quelle che ho divorato più voracemente, in un subbuglio di emozioni contrastanti. Ho capito che questo è un grande romanzo, molto complesso, non facilmente apprezzabile da chiunque. E poi, il ritmo scandito delle giornate nella clinica psichiatrica e il ricordo di Simon, che ritorna costantemente, sono un continuo pugno nello stomaco.
Vogliamo poi parlare, della meravigliosa copertina?
Leggetelo, e fatelo conoscere, perché merita. Eccome se merita.
Profile Image for Kristijan.
216 reviews67 followers
June 9, 2015
The Shock of the Fall ili Where the Moon isn't (ovaj drugi naslov je svakako bolji) je priča o Metjuu, koji je sve samo ne još jedan od običnih književnih junaka.
Odmah u startu čitaoci su svesni da on nije jednostavan, da je nešto drugačije u njemu, njegovom načinu razmišljanja i da je pritisnut mnogim bolima, tugom i krivicom.
U priči koju on priča, tj. piše na kompjuteru ili pisaćoj mašini (što je pisac ostvario promenom fonta), čitaoci putuju napred-natrag kroz Metjuov život i postaju saputnici u njegovoj priči i njegovom životu a isto tako i njegovi sapatnici, jer ne mogu a da ne osete tu bol i krivicu koja mu pritiska ramena i srce. Sam glavni lik, Metju je odličan, a postoje i odlične sporedne uloge, kao na primer Anabela, Sajmon i Metjuova (i Sajmonova) baka. Roman je uistinu prošaran živopisnim likovima.
Osim toga, roman je prožet i odličnim humorom (poprilično crnim), čak i pored toga što se bavi ozbiljnim problemima - opakom bolešću uma, detetom sa daunovim sindromom,...
Fajler ima dara za pisanje i odlično je primenio malo drugačiji stil koji savršeno odgovara glavnom liku i njegovom problemu. Generalno nemam šta da zamerim knjizi, osim činjenice da sam ipak očekivao malo bombastičniji kraj. Kako sam se približavao kraju romana, nekako je sve ukazivalo na to kakav će da bude završetak.
Sve u svemu, jedna jaka četvorka.
Profile Image for Furrawn.
575 reviews46 followers
April 13, 2019
Excellent book on schizophrenia from the POV of a person struggling with it. Two brothers. A tragedy. The life of everyone afterwards and what happens if there's a predisposition for schizophrenia. It's a hard book to read. It forces you to feel the struggle of a schizophrenic from the inside. An important book.
Profile Image for Raven.
723 reviews205 followers
August 3, 2013
It is a rare thing to find a novel addressing the issues of mental illness handled in such a deft and compelling manner, but this is exactly what Filer has achieved in this accomplished debut novel. Drawing on Filer's own experiences of working within this field of mental health, there is an authenticity to the book that further compounds the effect and enjoyment of this, at times, heartwrenching story. Narrated by Matthew, a young adult, in the grip of schizophrenia, whose life has been hugely impacted on by the death of his brother Simon some years previously, Filer captures the true voice of and frustrations that Matthew experiences as his illness waxes and wanes throughout the book. The effects of the rise and fall of his symptons are cleverly illustrated by the clever incorporation of different typesets and fonts, which further brings home to the reader the essential aspects of Matthew's day-to-day- struggles with his mental health. Matthew's narrative is utterly compelling, gravitating between anger, despair and moments of humour, that challenges the reader and our perceptions of him as a character. Filer also stresses the impact of Matthew's schizophrenia on Matthew's family in a number of carefully wrought tableaus that really bring home the darkness of mental illness on the perceived normality of family life. The novel never descends into the trap of sentimentality, nor is it a completely depressing and mawkish study of life in the shadow of schizophrenia. It is an exceptionally balanced mix of truth, poignancy and, in some ways hope, that adds to its overall strength as a remarkable debut that deserves to be read.
Profile Image for João Carlos.
646 reviews273 followers
February 9, 2016

Curta-metragem inspirada no livro "O Choque da Queda

"Ler é um pouco como ter uma alucinação." (Pág. 92)

** Spoiler Alert**

"Devo dizer que não sou boa pessoa. Às vezes tento ser, mas nem sempre sou. Por isso, quando foi a minha vez de ficar de olhos fechados e de contar até cem... fiz batota." (Pág. 9) – assim começa “O Choque da Queda” romance estreia do escritor inglês Nathan Filer.
Matthew Holmes tem nove anos e magoou-se num joelho enquanto brincava, no parque de campismo de Ocean Cove, em Dorset, com o seu irmão Simon, três anos mais velho, que tem uma “cara… grande e redonda, estava sempre a sorrir e lembrava-me a Lua…. Andava numa escola especial,… e tinha os músculos fracos.” (Pág. 13) - que o carregou sozinho de volta à caravana da família. “A Mamã limpou e ligou a ferida, depois gritou comigo por ter posto o Simon numa situação horrível. O Papá também gritou comigo. A certa altura gritavam os dois ao mesmo tempo, de modo que eu não sabia bem para qual deles olhar.” (Pág. 14)
“É esta, então, a história com que apresento o Simon.” (Pág. 14)
E de repente acontece uma tragédia: “estava completamente sozinho.” (Pág. 17)
“As recordações perderam-se, como num sonho, quando abrimos os olhos. Foi mais ou menos assim que tudo se passou.” (Pág. 19)

“Quando voltei para casa éramos apenas a Mamã, o Papá e eu.” (Pág. 21)
Matthew tem uma doença mental, “Tenho que abrandar porque quero explicar como o meu mundo abrandou…. Uma grande parte da vida não é nada. Uma grande parte da vida é só o tempo a passar, e durante um bom bocado dessa passagem nós até estamos a dormir. Quando estou fortemente medicado durmo até dezoito horas por dia. Durante esse tempo estou muito mais interessado nos meus sonhos do que na realidade, porque ocupam uma parte maior do meu tempo. Se tenho bons sonhos considero que a vida é bem boa. Quando os remédios não funcionam bem, ou se decido não os tomar, passo mais tempo acordado. Mas então os meus sonhos sabem como seguir-me. É como se cada um de nós tivesse uma parede que separa os sonhos da realidade, mas a minha tem fissuras. Os sonhos conseguem insinuar-se pelas fissuras, até que é difícil saber a diferença.
Às vezes
de alto a baixo.
pesadelo vem.”
(Pág. 25)
É na escrita que Matthew se refugia, transpondo os seus pensamentos e as suas angústias para a folha de papel; juntamente com as suas ilustrações e a utilização de diferentes tipos de letras que acabam por funcionar como uma terapia ocupacional, numa luta com o seu passado, contra o seu passado, sem compreender o presente e o futuro, numa culpabilidade inimaginável, pela morte do seu irmão Simon, portador do síndrome de Down.
Por vezes a narrativa de “O Choque da Queda” é confusa, complexa, fragmentada no espaço e no tempo, tal como os pensamentos e as alucinações de Matt; que acaba por reconhecer as suas limitações, relatos confusos de memórias dolorosas, mas onde a ironia e o humor estão sempre presentes, sem excessivo dramatismo ou sentimentalismo.
O enfermeiro psiquiátrico e escritor Nathan Filer escreve um brilhante livro de ficção, sobre a dor e sobre uma doença mental – a esquizofrenia, uma doença crónica, um transtorno mental complexo, silencioso e atroz, que interfere nos comportamentos e nas emoções – “O pior desta doença não são as coisas que me compele a acreditar, ou o que me faz fazer. Não é o controlo que tem sobre mim, ou sequer o controlo que é permitido outras pessoas terem. O pior de tudo é que me tornei egoísta. A doença mental vira as pessoas para dentro. É o que eu acho. Mantém-nos presos eternamente no sofrimento das nossa próprias mentes…” (Pág. 226)

"Ler é um pouco como ter uma alucinação." (Pág. 92)
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