Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

2013 Costa Prize for Fiction

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer


Publisher: The Borough Press

Length: 320 pages

About: Descent into schizophrenia

Style: 1st Person

Where: England

When: 2013


Publisher’s synopsis:

The Shock of the Fall tells the story of Matthew and Simon, two brothers who are separated yet united by a tragic accident. Exploring themes of loss, grief and mental illness, this extraordinary novel transports the reader directly into the mind of Matthew and his slow descent into madness as he confronts his role in the boyhood death of his older brother ten years ago.



I have an illness, a disease with the shape and sound of a snake. Whenever I learn something new, it learns it too … My illness knows everything I know. This was a difficult thing to get my head around.




It is a gripping, exhilarating read.

Suzi Feay, The Guardian,18th January 2014

To read full review click here



Not so good:

But this book is no Kite Runner. No siree. And I’ll tell you for why.
Sure, it got me going. It got me page turning, keen to find out the full story that was being slowly revealed. But it did all this using some hack tricks There was plot teaser after plot teaser, clumsily inserted in an almost soap opera way.

Because of the strength of the writing and the voice, and the authenticity of the theme, you know you’re in the presence of something way higher quality than a soap opera, but the story telling tactics were essentially the same. Every time I was give a glimpse of a half fact, and then left wondering whilst being whisked along to another scene, I recognized a cheap trick being employed to get me hooked.

Gavs Book Reviews 26th January 2014

For full review click here



About the author

He attended the Ridings High School, a large secondary school located in the village of Winterbourne in South Gloucestershire, on the outskirts of Bristol.
Filer trained as a psychiatric nurse gaining a degree in Mental Health Nursing from the University of the West of England and has worked as a researcher at the University of Bristol. He is now a lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University. He also appears as a performance poet at festivals and on television and radio.

In 2005 he won the BBC Best New Film Maker Award for the short film, Oedipus.
















Page turner







Age guide: 12






Novels by same author:









None to date








2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


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