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The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

Nathan Filer

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Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2013.

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2013.

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.

Rose Tremain, chair of the judging panel, said: "For a first novel it is astonishingly sure-footed … I think there is genuine excitement about this winner."

If you like Nathan Filer you might also like to read books by Paul Wilson, Gavin Extence and James Scudamore.


The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

'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.


'A stunning novel. Ambitious and exquisitely realised, it's by turns shocking, harrowing and heartrending. The writing is so accomplished it's hard to believe it's a debut - it's clearly the work of a major new talent'
S J Watson

'Nathan Filer is following in the footsteps of Mark Haddon's genre-setting The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Both funny and painful... you're going to love it'

'Bittersweet and wonderfully etched...perceptive and moving'

'A deeply moving (but also funny) first novel'
Kate Saunders THE TIMES

'I found it dark, touching, sweet and funny and beautifully of the best books about mental illness.'
Jo Brand

'A compelling story of grief, madness and loss. Filer has an ear for the dark comedy of life, and Matthew is a charismatic lead character who draws you in even as his world falls apart'

'A tragic and comic account of living with schizophrenia. A must for fans of Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook'

'A stunning debut - sad, poignant, real and very very readable. For a first time novelist, Filer has an impressive grasp of complex narrative, and a character we can all care about'
Stella Duffy, author of The Room of Lost Thing

'A terrific debut: engaging, funny and inventive'
Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine

'A convincing portrayal of an articulate boy in the grip of a powerful illness, and an absorbing account of a grief undischarged'

'Told in the first person the book has been compared to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and is by turns poignant, funny and harrowing.' DAILY EXPRESS

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. The Shock of the Fall is his first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th May 2013


Nathan Filer

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HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


320 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites