Monday, June 16, 2014

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

3.5 Stars
"I’d like my life to be like a Bruce Springsteen song. Just once. I know I’m not born to run, I know that the Seven Sisters’ Road is nothing like Thunder Road, but feelings can’t be so different, can they?"

When Rob’s live-in girlfriend walks out on him, he’s left questioning all of his relationships and what led up to this point.

When I first read High Fidelity umpteen years ago, I thought it was a home run. Grand slam, even. Nick Hornby was new to the writing scene and British and young and British and had fresh material and was British and wrote hip characters (that were British) and I was smitten. Now that I’m old and jaded (and not as easily impressed by all things on the other side of the pond), this re-read wasn’t quite the home run it was the first time around. It was more like a double with an error that allowed the runner to advance to third.*

However . . . My appreciation for Hornby’s talent will not allow me to rate any of his books below 3.5 Stars, I have nothing but admiration for his ability to write “anti-love stories,” and my adoration for Rob, the MC, remains strong. I believe High Fidelity may have provided me my first experience of being 100% annoyed by the narrator and so happy to not know him in real life, while still wanting to hear his story and being fascinated by his crybabiness (made up word??? yep, I'm going with it) rather than wanting to kick his ass.

Yes, Rob, you are indeed, but somehow Hornby always makes characters like you work.

Book version recommended to? The recently dumped or pessimists in general.

Movie version recommended to? Anyone who likes John Cusack films. While you won’t get a moment like this:

Rob Gordon’s whining is significantly tuned down and Jack Black shines as co-star.

*After spending what seems like an eternity at various little league parks, my apologies for the baseball terminology.

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