High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Published by: Riverhead Books
Published on: August 1, 1996
Page Count: 352
My Reading Format: Personal paperback copy
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook
Summary from the Publisher:
Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers.
Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad.
Selecting this book for my Litsy Secret Santa’s present was the best thing that could happen to my reading life recently. 2016 was the year of the book funk for me, and the holidays were the worst. Changing my mind and selecting High Fidelity as my first read of 2017 was just what I needed. My husband is a music geek, so that made this book even more fun. Danny doesn’t speak in Top Five lists and he’s no where near as snobby as the men of Championship Records (not any more at least), but he is of their tribe and it warms my heart.
I read this book in about 24 hours, spending long reading without interruption. It was fabulous to look up from the book, check the clock, and see that I’ve spent hours lost in this story. Reading this book really focused me in on Rob’s inner life. Both Blair (my Secret Santa) and I agreed that Hornby got to the heart of what men experience as they grow from boy to man and their relationships along the way. As such, John Cusack was perfect for the part of Rob. I’m not saying that because I have loved him since Say Anything. High Fidelity is, however, my favorite of his movies. I’ve seen it countless times and I was pleased with how closely the movie and dialogue followed the book. I could see Rob, Barry, and Dick and feel their personalities flow through the pages. Yes, the movie played a role in that, but I believe I would have known them just as well had I read this beforehand.
About three or four chapters toward the end of the book fell a little flat and felt longer to read, but the ending was very good. After reading it, I felt that it worked slightly better for me than the movie. I posted quotes and thoughts about High Fidelity on Litsy throughout my reading time. There were some fans for whom this was their least favorite Hornby book. If that’s the case, I’ve got to read everything else. I loved this book!