Reading guide for The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer

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The Shock of The Fall

(originally published in hardcover in USA as Where the Moon Isn't)

by Nathan Filer

The Shock of The Fall
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2013, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2014, 320 pages

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Discuss Matthew's relationship with his parents. How does it change throughout the novel?

  2. Why does Matthew need to tell his story? Is the act of writing a cathartic process?

  3. How does Matthew portray life in the psychiatric ward? Were you shocked by any of the descriptions?

  4. What is Nanny Noo's role in the novel?

  5. Discuss Matthew's comment on page 275, 'I guess there's a Use By date when it comes to blaming your parents for how messed up you are'.

  6. In Matthew's invitation to Aaron and Jenny, he writes 'I'm really sorry if I've got your name wrong. Part of me thinks it's Gemma. Please forgive me if I got it wrong. Not making excuses, but I am a schizophrenic.' Is this an indication that Matthew has come to terms with his illness? Why does he joke about it?

  7. How did the novel make you feel? Would you recommend it?

  8. Did you have much of an insight into schizophrenia before reading the novel? Has it made you want to find out more about mental illness?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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