High Fidelity is one of my favorite movies–John Cusack one of my favorite actors–so I was a little worried about what my reception was going to be of this book, especially since I really didn’t like Big Fish (the book). Anyway, I really enjoyed the book and am glad that I just happened to pick up some of his other books at a booksale a few months ago. (Incidentally About A Boy is another movie I really enjoy–just realized they are the same author).
High Fidelity is the story of Rob and Laura, a couple who has recently broken up. What I love about this book is that the perspective is all Rob’s, and Rob is a little bit neurotic and way too analytical. He reminds me of my hero Bridget Jones–except a male version and not quite so silly. I loved the male perspective, even though I’m not sure if I really believe it. For example there is one part of the book where Rob states, “Women get it wrong when they complain about media images of women. Men understand that not everyone has Bardot’s breasts, or Jamie Lee Curtis’s neck, or Cindy Crawford’s bottom, and we don’t mind at all….We worked out very quickly that Bond girls were out of our league, but the realization that women don’t ever look at us the way Ursula Andress looked at Sean Connery, or even in the way that Doris Day looked at Rock Hudson, was much slower to arrive, for most of us. In my case, I’m not at all sure that it ever did.” He then goes on to say, “But it’s much harder to get used to the idea that my little-boy notion of romance, of negliges and candlelit dinners at home and long, smoldering glances, had no basis in reality at all. That’s what women out to get all steamed up about; that’s why we can’t function properly in a relationship. It’s not the cellulite or the crow’s feet. It’s the…the…the disrespect“ (274). Seriously??? Seriously??? Its our fault there is no romance?? This idea is way too much for me to swallow. :)
But back to the plot…So after Laura leaves Rob, who is a recordshop owner and salesman, he begins to look back at his life at the top five relationships he has had that have had the biggest effect on him. Curiously, Laura does not even make the top five list. Throughout the course of the novel, Rob realizes that Laura is on the list, and she is number one…or is she?
The book is humorous but also endearing. My only major disappointment was that one of my favorite moments in the movie is not in the book (which is actually a really close adaptation–really close). I love the end of the movie when Jack Black sings “Let’s Get It On,” but I thought that the way Hornby ended his novel was almost just as good. Great book, glad I read it.