High Fidelity – Nick Hornby: A Review

Posted 12 October, 2007 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 13 Comments


Title: High Fidelity
Author: Nick Hornby
Date Finished: Oct 12, 2007
Pages: 322
Rating: 4.5/5

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.

13 Responses to “High Fidelity – Nick Hornby: A Review”

  1. Anyone who has read my blog for awhile knows that John Cusak is my all-time favorite!! I fell in love in high school with Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything). And I loved the movie High Fidelity.

    Actually I really have enjoyed all of Hornsby’s books. This one probably the most.

  2. I adore John Cusack, but I admit that I just didn’t get the movie. However, I’m also crazy about Nick Hornby. You’ve *got* to read About a Boy; it’s wonderful. It was my desire to read everything Hornby has written that led me to High Fidelity. What surprised me, I think, is that it’s a very British story and the movie is so American. I don’t know why that caught me so off-guard. I loved the book and someday I’ve got to give the movie a second go.

  3. *Stephanie – Say Anything is also one of my favorite movies. This is my first Hornby book, but I’ll be reading more.

    *J.Kaye – you make me laugh. For me it was way after high school (about 10 years I think). :) I do love him, though.

    *Bookfool – I was actually surprised to find out that the book was British–I had no idea (obviously this was before I realized he wrote About A Boy). I will put the book onto my TBR list!

  4. I really like this book, and also the movie. I read “About a Boy” recently and I really liked it as well – much more than the movie, though both are good. It’s not nearly as faithful an adaptation as High Fidelity, though, so be prepared.

  5. *Nymeth – good to know. Usually I think that is the case, but I thought that High Fidelity was right on the money in terms of adaptations (which is maybe why I liked the book). I will definitely be reading more of his stuff, though.

  6. Yay I’m so glad you liked it. I hope you read A Long Way Down and How to be Good as well at some point. I wouldn’t bother with Fever Pitch perhaps unless you are an English football fan…

  7. *Rhinoa – Yes, I did enjoy it–thanks for putting it up for Something About Me challenge. :) Is Fever Pitch the same as the American movie with Drew Barrymoore about the Boston Red Sox? Not interested in sports anyway…

  8. *MyUtopia – The book was a very very close adaptation of the movie, which at times was a little weird, but I’ve watched the movie over and over, so I’m not sure why reading for a change would be any different. Hmmm…you know what I mean? (I don’t usually read books once I’ve seen the movie and visa versa). I hope you enjoy!

  9. I read this book a long time ago, probably more than 10 years ago, for a book club I was in. Loved it. I never did see the movie, even though I really like John Cusack.

  10. Not sure it’s the American one, I know they did make a British one. If you don’t like sports give it a miss. He is obsessed with Arsenal Football Club in the UK.

  11. *LisaMM – The movie is *very* closely adapted to the book, so you might really like it. Its one of my favorites.

    *Rhinoa – not a big sports fan. :) I’ll stick to my awkward romantic comedies.