Wednesday, 3 September 2014

'I just called to say I love you...'

Review: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

This is a novel that I, to be honest, knew nothing about when I bought it. I'd just seen and heard so many good review that I was excited to read it, whatever the concept. 
This is a novel about mental illness. It is harrowing, moving and touching. It is sometimes hard to read, sometimes easy to read. It's sad. 
This is a novel about a boy named Matthew who loses his brother and falls apart. 

-The character of Matt. He was very realistic as a teenage boy, and even as a child. Filer somehow made his schizophrenia accessible, which I thought was wonderful. He didn't seem mad, as his every thought process was explained. 
-The obvious study that had gone in to the book. I felt like I was learning by reading it, which I always enjoy.
-The build up to what happened to Simon- it wasn't too much, not too much of a mystery, and you could probably work it out for yourself if you thought about it. I liked that it's not a secret on purpose, it's more to do with Matt's mental state that we don't find out. I liked that it wasn't made into a huge thing, a big reveal, it was much more subtle, and made sure that Matt's illness wasn't made secondary. 

-I sometimes felt like it was too jolty. I wasn't always aware of where we were in the story, and although this was good to show Matt's confused mental state, a clearer timeline would have been helpful. Maybe just a sentence or so in each sentence to say when in the story timeline we were. 
-The conscious narration. I didn't know what to believe, and whilst that's not always a bad thing, I just can't decide if it added to the story or not, so why was it in there? Everything should matter. 

What is it about? The strains and struggles of mental illness. 
Would I recommend? Yes. It seems like a simple read at first, getting you hooked in before it's all turned on its head. This book is interesting and moving, and although uncomfortable at times, a rewarding read. 

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