My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book made me Google ‘Is Shock of the Fall’ based on a true story, because I believed wholly in the protagonist Matthew. Nathan Filer, as a mental health nurse, clearly has a powerfully empathic understanding of the behaviours of the mind. This is a touching reveal into the inner world of a boy, boy-man, man living in a type of mental and, consequently, physical and social isolation while coming to terms with a tragic event and feelings of loss and shame that accompany it.
But it is an enjoyable, entertaining and surprisingly light read given the subject. He manages to bring a kind of Adrian Mole humour to the story while teaching us from inside what it feels like to be Matthew. I can relate to Matthew’s thought processes throughout the story and there is a clear logic behind his version of reality. Matthew makes insightful observations on human relationships and communications, both with him and between each other, that make me smile or chuckle and think: yes, I know that, I know that person, that Steve, that awkwardness. Behind the beautiful simplicity of the words Matthew uses and thinks in, there is a non-judgemental and perceptive wisdom that comes from living on the outside looking in.
The Shock of the Fall is a great book. It’s funny, thought-provoking, touching and warm. Read it.