Soon to be a Disney+ streaming TV series starring Zoë Kravitz
From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, a wise and hilarious novel about love, heartbreak, and rock and roll.
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you have strong feelings about whether Elvis Costello’s early records were punk or New Wave, High Fidelity is the romantic comedy you didn’t know you needed. And as much as we love the Americanized movie adaptation starring John Cusack, Nick Hornby’s London-set novel is even better. He perfectly captures the arrested-development voice of record-store owner Rob Fleming, who’s passionate about his vinyl collection and clueless about why his girlfriend Laura just dumped him. Hilariously funny and unexpectedly touching, this is essential reading for music geeks and those who love them.
British journalist Hornby has fashioned a disarming, rueful and sometimes quite funny first novel that is not quite as hip as it wishes to be. The book dramatizes the romantic struggle of Rob Fleming, owner of a vintage record store in London. After his girlfriend, Laura, leaves him for another man, he realizes that he pines not for sexual ecstasy (epitomized by a ``bonkus mirabilis'' in his past) but for the monogamy this cynic has come to think of as a crime. He takes comfort in the company of the clerks at the store, whose bantering compilations of top-five lists (e.g., top five Elvis Costello songs; top-five films) typify the novel's ingratiating saturation in pop culture. Sometimes this can pall: readers may find that Rob's ruminations about listening to the Smiths and the Lemonheads--pop music helps him fall in love, he tells us--are more interesting than his list of five favorite episodes of Cheers. Rob takes comfort as well in the company of a touring singer, Marie La Salle, who is unpretentious and ``pretty in that nearly cross-eyed American way''--but life becomes more complicated when he encounters Laura again. Hornby has earned his own place on the London bestseller lists, and this on-the-edge tale of musical addiction just may climb the charts here. First serial to Esquire.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good book! Fun reading! I loved the narrators sense of humor and British terminology. He is a really screwed up middle age male who cannot decide whether he wants to marry his girlfriend but is heartbroken when she moves out of their apartment. He owns a failing business and is still trying to decide what to do with is life.
Quite simply, this is one of the funniest and most entertaining books I have ever read. Anyone who has ever experienced the highs and lows of relationships and loves music will relate to this story and will find themselves laughing out loud at Hornby's insights and wit. Everyone that I have recommended this to loved it!
Or perhaps you have to be British. Not really funny either. Just depressing.