Nathan Filer: The Shock of the Fall

To begin with, think about the name of the book. It has multiple meanings: it can be about something shocking that is happening in the autumn. Or, it can refer to that horrible state after someone has fallen off the roof, from the edge of the cliff, etc. Or it could also be interpreted as a state of mind, after you have mentally  collapsed or “fallen”. Despite the different meanings of the title (all of which actually all apply to our dear story), the name of the book depicts well the ominous atmosphere in this story.

To talk about this book and analyze the book thoroughly would spoil all the fun and excitement of the reading. Therefore, there are just hints that I would like to give you for your reading: pay attention to the construction of the book. Read carefully, try to catch some hints that the author gives you along the way, and enjoy the typography of the text:  for example, think about the fonts of the text, they do serve some purpose, don’t they?

Also, we have to admit that Nathan Filer, the author of the book, seems to know very well what he is writing about. That he is a registered mental nurse by profession cannot be a coincidence. In the book club we started to wonder how much he might have actually picked up from the real life experiences, since so vivid and accurate seem the descriptions of health care institutions and the states of mind. At the epilogue of the book, Filer actually describes his relationship with his own protagonist: “Of course I also got to spend time in the company of Matthew Homes, who I grew to like enormously. Perhaps compelled is the right word. I felt compelled to tell his story”.

Even though the book handles mostly a subject of grief, we in the book club did not find the book to have a hopeless feeling. The book has a strong will for survival, hopefully still for decades to come. A beautiful piece of writing!

-Marika

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