Review: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

The Blurb

High Fidelity is Nick Hornby’s hilarious and heart-breaking first novel bestseller

Do you know your desert-island, all-time, top five most memorable split-ups?

Rob does. He keeps a list, in fact. But Laura isn’t on it – even though she’s just become his latest ex. He’s got his life back, you see. He can just do what he wants when he wants: like listen to whatever music he likes, look up the girls that are on his list, and generally behave as if Laura never mattered. But Rob finds he can’t move on. He’s stuck in a really deep groove – and it’s called Laura. Soon, he’s asking himself some big questions: about love, about life – and about why we choose to share ours with the people we do.

A million-copy bestseller, and adapted into a 2000 film starring John Cusack, High Fidelity explores the world of break-ups, make-ups and what it is to be in love. This astutely observed and wickedly funny book will be enjoyed by readers of David Nicholls and William Boyd, and by generations of readers to come.

The Review

It has been 15 years since the movie High Fidelity was released into cinemas. It was 15 years ago that I sat in a movie theatre thinking to myself “well there is two of my life that I am never getting back.”

I hated it. Not even my weird crush on John Cusack could save this film for me. I have watched it again as an adult (I was fifteen when I saw it in the cinema) and even then I just could not find a redeeming factor in the movie much to the chagrin of some of my male friends.

Fifteen years later, I read the book version. Fifteen years later, I found the redeeming factor.

You are probably wondering why I decided to read High Fidelity considering I hate the film so much. Well, last year I read a few Nick Hornby novels: Juliet, Naked, A Long Way Down, Stuff I’ve been Reading to name a few and I fell in love with his writing style. In one week I managed to inadvertently acquire two copies of High Fidelity (both from independent book stores – I think protagonist Rob would approve of this fact) and I decided to add it to my ever growing to be read pile. Once again, Nick Hornby’s writing made me smile.

High Fidelity is brilliant. I mean, it makes me utterly thankful that I was born female because the male psyche is just bizarre but the book itself was excellent. All these misnomers I have believed about the male species – gone or at least explained away. I feel enlightened, lighter by the knowledge that I have gained. Hazzah.

Nick Hornby is one of my favourite authors. He is an author who has yet to let me down which is why I am thankful that I have many more of his novels to read. Next up, Funny Girl!

In keeping with the High Fidelity theme – here are my top five Dessert Island Discs…or rather top five songs.

1)            Town Called Malice – The Jam

2)            Born to Run – Adam Green

3)            La Vie en Rose – Edith Piaf

4)            Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

5)            That Boy – The Beatles

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby is available now.

High Fidelity


11 thoughts on “Review: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

    • ljbentley27 says:

      I know…that almost never happens. Actually, there have been a few times that I can think of. My to three would be:

      1) The Neverendning Story by Michael Ende (the film is seriously better than the book)

      2) Bridget Jones’s Diary – I’m sorry but the book did not bring Mark Darcy to life for me but the film did. As Bridget would say “ding dong!”

      and lastly

      3) Whip It – based on the book Derby Girl and directed by Drew Barrymore she stuck so close to the book it wasn’t hard to love it. Actually, I think I love the book and the film in equal measure.

      Are there any film adaptions that you prefer over the book? x x

  1. Karina Pinella says:

    Good review. I’ve picked up this book ages ago too but I haven’t fully read it. I basically fanned through it, but I watched the movie. Because I like John Cusack and the soundtrack, I found the movie easy enough to sit through.

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