Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Book 8 1/2

"High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby

Another one to tick off my "really must read that some time" list and also another "read it in a day" one too. Well, actually, I read a wee bit night before last, but yesterday there was lunch hour and baths and early-to-bed readings all warm and snuggly.

What interested me most, coming at this one from my experiencial end, so to speak, was the little differences to the film. Or rather, the little bits of the film that were the same as the book. For the most part, this one would've been prett easy to translate to the US and - heretic though it might make me - I don't think much of the story was lost by that. Every chapter or so, I'd come up against a chunk of text that was verbatim in the film and I'd have an extra wee chuckle, but the Anglo-centric elements were also great. The pommie slang and the pommise attitude give the story a slightly different slant, but the basic "this man is a pathetic creature who needs to grow up and stop wasting his potential" premise still comes across. I couldn't help seeing Jack Black as Barry, but I had more of a Neil Morrisey in my brain for the main character, so I wasn't completely bound to the film in my head.

Having not read any other Hornby, I found the conversational tone engrossing and smooth. I also thought that the moments of honesty in the admission of his characters' weaknesses were nicely done. Like most honest, believable stories I found myself yelling (metaphoricall, Carmen was already asleep) at Rob and trying to get him to wake up to himself. How successful my yelling was is something you'll have to decide for yourself when you read it.

Four all time top five desert island lists out of five.


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