Filar’s The Shock of the Fall holds many characteristics I least expected it to contain, it firstly brings a much closer relationship and understanding to schizophrenia then any book I have read. Allowing the stigma associated with mental illness to be removed as we follow Matthew’s journey and the cycle his life is now confined to. As an outsider to any relationship with mental illness, this book encapsulated the very essence of humanity and provide the realistic struggles for all connected.
With a traumatic childhood depicted in the opening pages, consequent questions are created on the psychological impact that follows into our adult lives. This book continues to make you think, of how we are perceived, how we perceive ourselves and what impact this creates. In Matthew’s journey the queries raised are even harder to pin point as he struggles to come to term with his brother’s death and the life that follows.
Although not necessarily an easy read, from time to time we all need a book that questions our purpose and enlightens topics we previously were unaware of.
The Shock of the Fall, is so well crafted, I feel I now understand a small aspect of mental illness; of a life unknown. Filar’s debut novel asks more of its readers then most, but in return is more rewarding and fulfilling.
Nathan Filar’s The Shock of the Fall is published by Borough Press and won Costa Book of the Year.