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Submitted Literature

The Shock of the Fall

By Filer Nathan


This first novel by Nathan Filer (who was a psychiatric nurse) tells the tale of a young man and his family coming to terms with his illness (schizophrenia) and with grief (at the death of his brother in childhood).

It is insightful about the relationships with staff and realistic about their impact on a patient who has fluctuating insight, and for whom 'being mad' fulfils a deep emotional need (to have contact with the brother his is grieving). It is also realistic about the patient's relationship with medication. He is a really likeable character (if the necessary conceit that he wanted to be a writer, as the book is written in the first person, did put a stretch on credulity, in my opinion, at times).

The ending is realistic but also allows for hope. 

Key Themes:

  • Schizophrenia

Reference: Filer, Nathan. 2013. The Shock of the Fall. The Borough Press/Harper Collins, 2014


Christine Leaman
Date Review Submitted: Friday 14th July 2017