Reviews of Nick Hornbys' High Fidelity and How to Be Good
Book Reviews - January 2003
The truth is that I had my doubts if I would like Nick Hornby. I have no idea why, maybe it was the football book that he published that made me go "hmm...I am not really that keen on football am I? I will probably not like this author..". Well, logic works in mysterious ways (or rather, normally it does not) but after seeing the movie "About a boy" which I found really funny I decided it was time to read some Hornby.
So, here I was, reading "High Fidelity" and enjoying the book very much. When we meet Rob, the 30-something record store owner, his girlfriend just left him and we will follow him through his everyday work dealing with this fact.
Nothing much will happen in the book, but the story is told in a very nice way and you will love it. Music is the red line through the book, and Rob is obsessed with it. Constantly making lists of best songs, and arguing with his two co workers that are slightly less normal, life is moving on. They made a movie out of the book but after seeing the opening sequence I was convinced that the movie would not make the book justice so I haven't seen much more than the first minutes of the movie.
They should release a soundtrack to the book though.
Ah, still not being that keen on the football book ("Fever pitch", as the official name is), I dug into this one, which is the latest (or at least the latest one when I write this) book from Mr. Hornby. With a slightly more serious tone to it, it is not laugh-out-loud-funny like High Fidelity, but it is still good reading.
Having a useless husband, actually the angriest man in Holloway, Katie Carr thinks that having an affair is not that big deal. After all, she is a doctor, and doctor do good deeds to people and so it sort of adds up. One evening she decides that it is no point in continuing the marriage with her husband and decides that she wants to have a divorce. Fine, but then her husband suddenly turns "good", which is what she wanted, or at least, that is what she thought that she wanted.
When her husband suddenly turns "good" life swings in quite another way, everything actually gets complicated, because her husband does not turn "good" in the sense of bringing out the garbage, cleaning out the dishwasher and picking up the children from school. Oh no, he turns "good" in the way of taking in homeless kids from the street and giving away money to poor people, and why stop there; he tries to convince the rest of the neighbourhood that we all shall be good.
Of course, the angriest man in Holloway does not just get such ideas out of nowhere. His new found helper and friend GoodNews is making these big plans with him and Katie's life is getting very complicated, very, very complicated.
Written from the woman's perspective, this book is a bit different, but I definitely recommend it if you liked Nick Hornby's other works (apart from the football book which I never read, but I would guess that you will probably like this one anyway).
Index of all reviews