Saturday, 15 March 2014

Book review: A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby

The blurb.
'Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?'

For disgraced TV presenter Martin Sharp the answer's pretty simple: he has, in his own words, 'pissed his life away'. And on New Year's Eve, he's going to end it all ... But not, as it happens, alone. Because first single-mum Maureen, then eighteen-year-old Jess and lastly American rock-god JJ turn up and crash Martin's private party. They've stolen his idea - but brought their own reasons.

Yet it's hard to jump when you've got an audience queuing impatiently behind you. A few heated words and some slices of cold pizza later and these four strangers are suddenly allies. But is their unlikely friendship a good enough reason to carry on living?

My opinion.
A Long Way Down tells the story of four very different individuals, who happened to meet by chance at their lowest point. They are the four people less likely to get along. And in fact, they never really do. They don't agree on much and most of the time they make each other even more unhappy. But they are there, and that's what counts. All four of them are lonely, misunderstood or an outcast in some way. Their unique bond gives them a new reason. It gives them the opportunity to look at their lives and maybe even futures from a different angle.
The only thing I struggled with is Jess, one of the four. From the moment she started speaking I just wanted to slap her. Nick Hornby tells the story by alternating between all four characters. I really liked this and it gave you the opportunity to better understand each one of them. But the downside is that I really struggled with those parts told by Jess. I really, really disliked her character and I never really "got" her.
Nick Hornby's story is very real, very honest and very moving. 


Movie books
I read this book as a part of my new reading challenge: "movie books". Now I've read the book, I'll go to the theater soon to watch the movie. To see how I liked it in comparison (once I've watched it), take a look at my challenge -page here.

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