Book number 15: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
What it is: Think of a big ass pop culture sandwich and you have most of High Fidelity. Book, movies, an obscene amount of music in the best possible sort – it pretty much covers all the essentials. It also talks a lot about relationships, the usual men and women differences kind of thing. But what is interesting about it is that it explores the topic from a man’s perspective, from Rob’s perspective. I’d like to call High Fidelity as man-lit, if there is such a category because it is strikingly, man and surprisingly, it’s refreshing.
What I liked about it: The main character, Rob, is pretty much a loser. He’s a rainbow of a mess and at thirty-something, clearly, adulthood is almost a myth, but he is good at one thing: music. All the pop culture discussion is awesome. The guy owns a record store and High Fidelity takes off from there.
I can’t say I like Rob much. He’s just okay I guess but what I appreciate with the narration in High Fidelity is that even though the guy is depressed as shit, you don’t feel the sky caving in on you. There’s a bucketful of misery and pain along the lines but they seemed natural and seeing the relationship thing, the breakup thing, unfold from the guy’s view is really interesting, and funny.
Now my favorite quote out of High Fidelity is “I’ve committed to nothing and that’s just suicide by tiny, tiny increments.” Another one I like is, “It’s not what you like but what you are like that’s important.” I think this fucks up relationships most times because people make decisions based on the shallow stuff first but hopefully when they see sense, it’s not too late.
What I didn’t like about it: I can’t be sure how much I bought the ending, but maybe that is not the point. Maybe the point is sometimes you do get a second chance and you have not to fuck it up.
Recommended for: Read High Fidelity if you are a music junkie, or a guy, or is looking for a book that sounds like a guy… for a change (The Sense of an Ending is another good one btw). The movie version of High Fidelity is good too and is faithful to the book, which I appreciate a lot.
Note: The first project for this year is to finish the book reviews I’ve been procrastinating on since forever. Sorry.