High Fidelity

High Fidelity

  • Paperback
By (author) Nick Hornby

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Nick Hornby's first novel, an international bestseller and instantly recognized by critics and readers alike as a classic, helps to explain men to women, and men to men. Rob is good on music: he owns a small record shop and has strong views on what's decent and what isn't. But he's much less good on relationships. In fact, he's not at all sure that he wants to commit himself to anyone. So it's hardly surprising that his girlfriend decides that enough is enough.

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  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 24mm | 200g
  • 05 Oct 2000
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London
  • 0140293469
  • 9780140293463
  • 64,153

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Author Information

Nick Hornby was born in 1957 and worked as a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. His books are FEVER PITCH (1992), HIGH FIDELITY (1995) and ABOUT A BOY (1998). In 1999 he won an E. M. Forster award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in north London.

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Review text

A rollicking first novel from British journalist Hornby that manages to make antic hay of a young (barely) man's hopeless resolve not to come of age. Rob Fleming is the sort of precocious loser whose life has gone so unaccountably wrong that some deep romantic grief must be invoked to explain it. "The unhappiest people I know, romantically speaking," according to Rob, "are the ones who like pop music the most; and I don't know whether pop music has caused this unhappiness, but I do know that they've been listening to the sad songs longer than they've been living the unhappy lives." As a case in point, the 35-year-old Rob not only listens to these songs himself but peddles them - as the founder and proprietor of Championship Vinyl, a seedy vintage-record store in a quiet back alley of North London. Business is hardly booming these days, and the shop would have gone under long ago but for Rob's lawyer-girlfriend Laura, who has propped it up time and again with cash from her own very ample pool. Once she dumps Rob, however, everything is suddenly on the verge of collapse - fiscally and emotionally - and Rob is forced to ask himself how he landed in such a mess. Naturally, he has no idea, so he proceeds to look up his ex-girlfriends - all the way back to high school - and ask them why things never worked out. As a pilgrimage, Rob's quest bears more resemblance to Monty Python than Chaucer, and his own inability to put two and two together somehow endears him to the very women whose affections he seems least able to requite. Reality bludgeons him in the end, and he succeeds, as the plot is spun, in drawing a few morals that surprise him by their simplicity and point toward a happy ending - or at least a second chance. Fast, fun, and remarkably deft: a sharp-edged portrait that manages at once to be vicious, generous, and utterly good-natured. (Kirkus Reviews)

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