The Shock of the Fall Review

“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.”

The blurb had me hooked before I even opened the book itself. Although, it does not tell you much about the novel’s topic, it does certainly intrigue the reader.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer is a heart rendering tale of Matthew Holmes’ struggle with mental illness. The ‘COSTA Book of the Year’ winner is written from the perspective of the mentally ill main character and focuses on the death of the narrator’s brother. It unchronologically follows Matthew Holmes from his childhood until his young adult years.

The novel is incredibly well-written, easy to read and will have you hooked throughout. The Shock of the Fall will perfectly capture a mixture of your emotions from shocked to humoured and sad to emotional.

The style of writing and tone has a resemblance to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which makes The Shock of the Fall personal and makes you feel like you know Matthew Holmes.

The Shock of the Fall is the first novel written by author, Nathan Filer, who is a registered mental health nurse and performance poet who regularly contributes to literary events. Filer also lectures at Bath Spa University for the Creative Writing course.

The book is based in the city of Bristol and for locals refers to many famous streets and attractions. As a Bristolian, it was relatable and created a sense of knowing. However, if you’re not familiar with Bristol it will not in anyway make the book less enjoyable. The book is an amazing read from anywhere in the world.

The Shock of the Fall is an incredibly well-written book which is a gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat. You can pick up a copy of the book here.

Details

Title: The Shock of the Fall

Author: Nathan Filer

Publisher: The Borough Press

Published: 7 January 2014

ISBN: 9780007491452

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This week a review of ‘The Shock of the Fall’ by Nathan Filer will be up. Keep an eye out for the book review!

Weekly Watch: Lauren Aquilina Live at St Pancras

Singer-songwriter, Lauren Aquilina, surprised passer-bys at St Pancras railway station by performing a cover of Sam Smith‘s song ‘Stay With Me’.

Lauren Aquilina is a 19-year-old, singer-songwriter of British and Maltese descent who this year signed a recording contract with Island Records and Universal Music Group. She began her career by uploading home-recorded videos of herself singing covers of other artist’s song and her original songs. Aquilina then went on to independently release three EPs, ‘Fools’, ‘Sinners’ and ‘Liars” which you can listen to on iTunes here.

Aquilina covered the number 1 single ‘Stay With Me’ by the 2014 BRIT Critics’ Choice Award Winner, Sam Smith, using just a piano and her beautiful voice in the busy train station. Many passer-bys stop to listen to her breathtaking voice.

The video which was posted on YouTube has already received 20,000 views in three days and has reportedly been seen by Sam Smith who liked it according to Lauren Aquilina’s twitter.

I’ve selected this video as my weekly watch because it is so simple and beautifully sang. The cover is definitely worth a watch!

Lee Evans warms up in Bristol

Lee Evans under the spotlight. Picture courtesy of theartsdesk.com.

Comedian, Lee Evans, took to Bristol’s Colston Hall for two nights of comedy to warm-up for his upcoming tour. The Bristol-born funny man had the audience in stitches as he tried out his new material on Friday and Saturday night.

Lee Evans is known for his energetic performances, excessive sweating and comic impressions. The show did not disappoint as the comedian delivered a standing-ovation performance and made it worth every penny with the comedy rolling for over two hours.

Evans was overwhelmed with the audience’s reception and shared his love of how he loves to perform at the Colston Hall and in the city he was born in.

The audience went wild for his impression of the Bristolian accent and his use of the city’s slang!

Lee Evans takes everyday, normally boring topics and makes them hilarious. Each audience member can relate to the jokes and the comedian himself.

Even though, Evans was reading from notes throughout his performance with just him, a microphone and a table, this did not take anything away from the comedic value and it showed that his talent can shine on its own.

The fresh material proved to be a success as the audience cried with laughter. If you’ve got tickets to his Monsters tour later this year then you’re in for a real treat!

Are Social Media Sites a Zoo of Publicity Stunts?

The internet slowly seems to be taking over the world and the public relations industry too. The number of publicity stunts appearing on social networking sites keeps growing. Facebook and Twitter are home to millions of them but they are not always noticeable to everyone.

Competitions as Advertising

You’ve all seen these competitions when they say “like this” or “share this” to win ‘blah blah blah’. We all love a competition but really we are just sharing the Facebook page to all of our Facebook Friends. We are providing companies with free advertisement for one of the thousands of people sharing to win a prize. The number of people who like the page to enter the competition is bound to make it worthwhile!

Customers Fuelling Publicity

I’m sure you’ve seen either witty comebacks from a company, or cute letters from kids, or funny comments on a social network page.

Twitter saw Argos get down with the slang of its customers with this witty response. Not only did Argos win the respect of ‘BadManBugti’ but also the thousands who re-tweeted the comeback. This could be seen as a subtle way to gain customers but who can blame Argos for making everyone laugh.

Argos turn their ‘slang on’.

Sainsbury’s won the hearts of many social network users when these pictures appeared online. Everybody loves when kids say cute things so when a 3 1/2 year old wrote to the supermarket to ask ‘why Tiger bread is not called Giraffe bread’…

Misnomer moan: Lily Robinson's letter to Sainsbury's asking why tiger bread wasn't called giraffe bread 

Sainsbury’s were smart to respond with this letter…

Understanding: This witty and friendly reply from Customer Manager Chris King won him a lot of praise

They fuelled the public’s reaction and according to the Daily Mail gained them 150,000 Facebook likes. 

Scams

Recently, a warning message has been shared around warning parents of the dangers of Talking Angela, a talking cat smartphone app. The messages warned parents that Talking Angela was a ploy to get children to talk to paedophiles but it turns out none of the rumours were true.

One of the many fake Facebook warnings about ‘Talking Angela’.

The Facebook hoax which according to mashable.com has boosted the app’s downloads and popularity. Was this a publicity stunt to get more people to know about the app and download it to see if it was true?

These types of posts and tweets are appearing on social networking sites more often than ever before but are they publicity stunts? Or are they just coincidently boosting business?

The PR Masterclass

prmasterclass

Alex Singleton’s new book The PR Masterclass gives advice to students and public relations professionals on “How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy That Works”.

Singleton tackles a topic, which you would expect to have been covered repeatedly by ex-journalists but surprisingly The PR Masterclass is one of the very few to focus on how to successfully deliver a PR strategy.

Alex Singleton is a world-renowned public relations practitioner who has experience of working with some of the largest companies in the world, such as Kellogs and Virgin Atlantic. Singleton’s PR career stems from his previous journalist roles in both the UK newspaper and magazine industries. He has worked at The Daily Telegraph, written for The Guardian, and appeared on the BBCSky News and CNN, just to name a few.”

It is clear that Singleton’s experience of both public relations and journalism enhances the credibility of his PR advice as he has knowledge of how journalists work first hand. In the chapter, ‘How to Develop a Story Idea that Is Newsworthy’ it focuses on ‘The perspective of the journalist’ which gives PR people, without familiarity of journalism, a great insight into their view and emphasises the need to make your PR strategy relevant to the journalists readers.

The book also offers PR experts or beginners advice on how to grab the attention of the media when writing press releases and how to build contacts with journalists.

The PR Masterclass is an easy-to-read book with its conversational nature and clear structure. The book is a great guide that can easily be referred back to again and again.

The book finishes by pointing you in the right direction of other useful resources such as other books to read and recommended website, including Behind the Spin!

You can start by reading the free chapter ‘How to Build and Maintain an Effective List of Journalists’ at http://www.alexsingleton.com/how-to-build-and-maintain-an-effective-list-of-journalists/.

Taylor Swift Paints the O2 Red

Swift going out with a bang singing 'We Are Never Getting Back Together'.

Swift going out with a bang singing ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’.

On her fourth night of sold-out shows at London’s O2 Arena, Taylor Swift amazes her dedicated fans with show-stopping performances of her famously-loved tracks.

Boy-band, The Vamps, warmed up fans with their catchy tunes but there is a clear resemblance to teen-heartthrobs, One Direction. The look, style and sound of The Vamps may not be new to the music industry but Swift’s fans went crazy for the boys. Maybe that had something to do with the largely female audience!

Taylor Swift took to the stage for just under two hours and definitely gave the audience their money’s worth. It was a full-packed show with numerous costume changes, energetic dance numbers and a vast amount of the colour red.

‘The Red Tour’ has now been on the road for eleven months since March 2013. Taylor Swift now brings the tour to the UK for five o2 Arena dates. The last show is tonight and is bound to leave London with a bang.

Swift sang a collection of songs from her most recent album ‘Red’. She had the crowd dancing with her upbeat numbers such as ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’. She also had the crowd close to tears with her slower songs as she sang ‘All Too Well’ and ‘Treacherous’.

The songwriter also took the audience back in time with songs off her older albums. ‘Fearless’ and ‘Love Story’ pleased the crowd as they reminisced back a few years. Swift also sang ‘Sparks Fly’ and ‘Mean’ from her previous album, ‘Speak Now’, which caused many screams of excitement.

Taylor Swift seems to always have a surprise in her pocket and last night’s surprise came in the form of singing-superstar, Emeli Sandé. The duo sang Sandé’s hit ‘Next to Me’ and amazed everyone with truly remarkable vocals. The pair teamed up after meeting at last year’s BRIT Awards.

Taylor Swift and Emeli Sandé sing 'Next to Me'. Photo courtesy of Taylor Swift's Instagram.

Taylor Swift and Emeli Sandé sing ‘Next to Me’. Photo courtesy of Taylor Swift’s Instagram.

The show was full of tricks with a violinist, circus themed dancers and Taylor mechanically-moving in several directions all over the arena. She certainly got as close as she could to each of her fans.

Swift left the arena and her fans covered in confetti after singing her pop-hit ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ in a glittery fashion.

Taylor Swift can certainly put on an entertaining performance where her fans are her main purpose. She wants them to get their money’s worth and have an incredible night.