So the first book I finished on my Nook (which I was asking questions about after I purchased it) was High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I know, I know — as a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, why am I just now getting to this one? Relax — I’m pretty sure I saw the movie a while back, so I’m not completely out of the loop.
(sweet cover art by Jacob Long – unfortunately not the “real” cover)
First things first — the Nook rocks. Love it. Completely. Can’t wait to keep using it.
Second things second — I have only read one Nick Hornby book before, and didn’t dig it that much (it was A Long Way Down). But, after reading about High Fidelity, I realized that if I’m gonna like anything by Nick Hornby, this would be the one. And it is.
This book tells the tale of Rob Fleming, a down-on-his-luck record store owner in London whose girlfriend, Laura, has just broken up with him and moved in with another guy (who turns out to be the guy who used to live upstairs from them and whom Rob and Laura could hear making love for insane amounts of time). So Rob is trying to make sense of his life and does so by thinking back through what he believes to have been the most important/meaningful relationships he’s had, and trying to figure out what he’s done wrong and what he’s done right. Lots of things in Rob’s life are broken down into “Top XX” lists, including his relationships. And including various musical facts, which he and the two guys he’s hired to work at his record store constantly compare.
The insights that Rob divulges are in fact pretty insightful, and the story he tells is pretty funny. The whole notion of how foreplay was all he wanted when he was younger, and how it’s all women seem to focus on nowadays, but how it doesn’t seem to compute that when he was in high school he couldn’t get the opportunity to engage in foreplay with a girl and now he can’t seem to get anywhere is articulated in a pretty funny way. Much funnier than I just articulated it.
I really want to see the movie again to see how it was translated into an American story (this one is very British). And also because now that the book is fresh in my mind, I think that I’d have a pretty good appreciation for the movie — maybe as good as I have for the book.