High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Riverhead, 2000. (Originally published in 1995)
This is my first read in my personal Nick Hornby reading challenge.
High Fidelity is Nick Hornby’s first novel, and I think it was a great debut. It’s narrated by Rob, a list-making, record-loving man who’s just been dumped. The book opens with a list of Rob’s top five most memorable split-ups, which pointedly does not include Laura, the woman who just dumped him. After brief recaps of those relationships, Rob proceeds to tell us all about his relationship with Laura.
What I really like about this novel is the conversational tone Hornby uses. I felt like I was sitting with a friend who is sometimes a pig and sometimes thoughtful, but mostly makes me laugh. In between his list-making (which is definitely NOT annoying, don’t worry) and feeling sorry for himself, Rob actually does some personal reflection that makes you think about your own relationships. Rob teaches you the lessons he learns without even trying.
You probably remember the movie version whether or not you’ve read the book, which I think is pretty faithful to the book. It’s been awhile, but the only thing that stands out is a bit of casting. In the book, Marie LaSalle is described as looking like Susan Dey circa L.A. Law. In the movie, she’s played by Lisa Bonet. Interesting choice, huh? Anyway, I think John Cusack was a perfect choice to play Rob, but then I’m partial to John Cusack.
Nick Hornby is one of my favorite authors. His writing is easy to read, funny, and insightful. I recommend you check out High Fidelity, especially if you enjoyed the movie.
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High Fidelity (the book)
High Fidelity (the movie)