Title: High Fidelity
Author: Nick Hornby
Published: 1996 Riverhead
My Rating: 4 stars
This was my introduction to Nick Hornby's writing (although I've enjoyed the movies based on his books) and I have to say that I've never gotten so much enjoyment from a book that has this much swearing and sex-talk. An excess of those two things usually get to me--I don't have much patience for it--but somehow in this book it seemed less superfluous and more like character development. Not only that, but I loved that John Cusack was the perfect film representation of the main character.
At the beginning of the book, I admit that it was picturing John Cusack's performance that won me over. Before long, however, I realized that the book was really holding its own. The characters were all real people in their own right. And my, was this a funny book! Sad in some ways, also...somehow the view on "love" (a.k.a. long term relationships) seemed rather fatalistic, making me realize that I must be further on the idealistic side of the spectrum than I thought.
Nearly every sentence in this book is quotable. All the Top 5 lists were great fun, even if I'm nowhere near the music geek that Rob (the main character) is. I certainly didn't always connect with Rob's rambling thoughts, but that made his quest to find meaning in life all the more real and unique. This book poses the challenge, in the most humorous way possible, to figure out who you are and be deliberate about the choices you make. I felt that it also made the point that a change in a person's circumstances or behavior doesn't have to mean a change in your relationship.
This was not my typical sort of reading choice, but it was very well done and very enjoyable. I'll be adding more Nick Hornby to my shelves in the future.