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Book Review: High Fidelity

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Nick Hornby’s debut novel, High Fidelity, is the story of Rob Fleming, the thirty-something owner of North London record shop Championship Vinyl, who is going through the breakup of a long-term relationship. We join him as he tries to work out where he has gone wrong, going back over his five most memorable split-ups, some dating back to primary school.

The book is fundamentally about relationships, but it’s packed with twists and turns, lots of will he or won’t he, and it kept me guessing to the end. Rob himself is a likeable character, and throughout the novel I found myself rooting for him to find happiness. I loved the music and cultural references, and the top five lists he constantly compiles. A few times, I even looked up the tunes and listened for myself.

I’m struggling to find things I didn’t like about this book, but there aren’t any. After reading lots of dark fiction over the last few months, it was great to let my eyes flow over something light-hearted.

I recommend this novel as the perfect antidote to the current world situation. It’s sad in places, such as when Rob tries to come to terms with the idea that his ‘little boy notion of romance … had no basis in reality at all’, but overall it’s a great fun read that just might take you back to simpler times.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: About a Boy

About a Boy by Nick Hornby.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

About a Boy is a simple tale about a relatively shallow man in his thirties who thinks he has everything, and a twelve year old boy who is struggling to fit into life at a new school after the separation of his parents. The two of them go on a journey of self-discovery as their lives become more entwined.

Nick Hornby’s easy, humorous writing style is pleasant and engaging, and the development of the characters and story is thorough. I read this book in a week, which is very quick for me, and a sign of how enjoyable it was. I intend to read more of his books.

I was in the position of reading About a Boy after seeing the film at least twice over the years. Personally, I found this to be a good thing as it meant I could picture the main characters straight away. Other people may disagree, and feel the book should always be read first.

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