Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby

Why did it take me so long to read this book?  It’s not like it hasn’t been taking up valuable real estate on my book shelf for the past few years.  If I would have known how much I’d like it, I would have moved it a little closer to the front of my To-Be-Read list. 

The best way for me to describe High Fidelity is this (and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible): It is a slightly more literary version of Bridget Jones’ Diary for men.  It follows Rob, a thirty-five year old, hopelessly average, un-ambitious, record store owner and his shredded love-life, but it tosses in a healthy dose of humor to keep things rolling. 

Part of the genius of this book is the character development.  The main character, Rob is deeply flawed, yet incredibly sympathetic at the same time.  In fact, all of the characters seem to have dual-natures.  Barry & Dick, Rob’s friends from the record store start off seeming like a couple of losers, but end up growing on you.  Laura, Rob’s ex-girlfriend begins as a female to hate, but completely does a 180 by the end. 

High Fidelity achieves something few book s can in that it would be equally appealing to men as it is to women.  Men will see themselves in Rob and women will get a rare glimpse into the heads of men.  Definitely worth the read.

Overall, I give High Fidelity by Nick Hornby…

Plot – 3 bookmarks
Character Development – 5 bookmarks (a very rare feat!)
Humor – 3 ½ bookmarks
Intellectual Stimulation  - 3 ½ bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Okay, I know John Cusack stared in the movie version, but I never saw it.  I love Cusack, but he’s not British and this book has to be set in London.  So, for Rob, it would have to be a British version of John Cusack – not too good looking, slightly neurotic, in his thirties.  Rest of the cast – Carey Mulligan (Laura), Mike Pierce and Johnny White (Barry & Dick), the chick singer from Sugarland (Marie), Holly Grainger (Liz).  

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