Novel on schizophrenic wins Costa Book Award

Posted on February 3, 2014

Nathan Filer's debut novel, The Shock Of The Fall, is a haunting and powerful take on guilt, death and mental illness and has won best first novel at the 2014 Costa Book Awards.

The aftershock of a sickeningly cruel accident is the core of Nathan Filer's debut novel, The Shock Of The Fall.

We see the incident, at a Dorset cove, through the eyes of 19-year-old Matthew Homes, a wrecked and mentally anguished boy whose guilt at the death of his brother Simon leaves him needing to be "managed" by his local community health team.

The scenes in which Matthew is sectioned are bittersweet and full of sharply droll details. "The mugs are provided by Drug Reps," Matthew notes in his journal. "They have the brands of the medication we hate stamped all over them." Patients are referred to as "Service Users" and it's a place in which "the manics talk – but they talk crap" and where the over-riding sensation is of mind-numbing tedium. "There is literally nothing to do," says Matthew, who calls his own repetitive existence "a Cut & Paste kind of life".

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Source material from The Telegraph