by Nathan Filer
Started: 9th July 2014
Finished: 10th July 2014
The blurb for this book is what caught my eye. It was so surprising and hardly gave anything away which drew me to it.
The novel starts with nine-year-old Matthew on holiday win his family when a tragic accident kills his older brother Simon, who has Down Syndrome. From that point we experience the next ten years Matt goes through as he, and his parents, try to cope with the death.
Shock of the Fall is told by Matt through his writing which is almost like a therapy for him. It jumps from his past to present as he tries to organise his thoughts paper. This can be quite confusing and disorientating. Personally, I found it enhanced the way I read the novel as it’s more realistic reflection of how Matt’s mind works.
I also liked the touch of the way the novel is formatted. On random pages there are crude drawings, or random words dotted around. You can tell when and where he is when the font changes to the typewriter or otherwise. It made the novel more aesthetically pleasing and fun to look at. However, if I had known about the way the novel was formatted then I would have bought the paperback copy rather than he ebook. Whilst the ebook edition is good, I feel it would look better in paperback.
Filer had a wonderful way of writing and I loved Matt as a protagonist and narrator. The way he wrote him you could see his madness, in my head I could hear the distinct tone and way to read – ranging from calm to frantic, loud to quiet. Having first person narration really made me feel for Matt – at times I would be angry or appalled by something he done but generally I just wanted to reach out and help. Although he may be dead from the beginning, I loved Simon and my heart shattered when we’re told the details of his death. I had to put the book down for a few moments to compose myself. They may not be in it much by I liked their parents and seeing their own struggles too. There are a couple of loose ends (only minor ones) that aren’t tied up but because of the ending of the novel, it’s easy to understand and accept why.
I absolutely loved this book, particularly Matt and his narration. When he repeats himself but realises; when he directly addressed the reader making you feel privileged that he’s sharing his story win you. I was very surprised with this novel, it wasn’t what I expected but it’s one of the best I’ve read.