‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’
Matt Homes is a schizophrenic who decides to put his thoughts onto paper through an old typewriter he was gifted. His story is unsettling, really beginning from the death of his brother (of which he has always blamed himself), and his battle for both him and his family to truly move on.
Mental health is such a sketchy subject in books, with many books having dealt with it in a slap-dash manner, sometimes it’s cool and of the time, other times it’s a flat out crazy character with no attempt to explore or explain it.
Here, it’s not. The Shock of the Fall travels through Matthew’s full range of emotions, through anger to humour, in an attempt to make it authentic. And that’s kind of the main reason I liked it: warts and all, this was authentic. It didn’t glamourise mental health issues, it didn’t dismiss them, it didn’t really cast any kind of judgement – it just was. It was what it needed to be to feel real.
The book is well-written, typographical and just generally different. Definitely one of the best depictions on the topic of mental health I’ve come across, though.