High Fidelity

High Fidelity book coverHigh Fidelity
Nick Hornby
Riverhead Books (August 1, 1996), 260 pages
Kindle edition $12.99, Amazon paperback $10.00
purchased as a Book Riot Kindle deal for $1.99

Nick Hornby is an author of popular comic novels. His most recent book is Funny Girl, published in February.

High Fidelity was published in 1996 and was made into a movie released in 2000 starring John Cusak. I have not seen the movie, but it figured in many of the Amazon reviews of the book. Hornby is British and writes for a British audience. The circumstances and setting are London and its environs. Hornby uses a lot of British slang. I spent a lot of time looking up words in the Oxford Living Dictionaries. “Knackered” means extremely tired. “Bitter” as a noun is a kind of beer. “Berk” means a stupid person.

Rob is the narrator of the novel. He owns a struggling used record store with two highly unmotivated employees. He is self-centered, immature, and an expert at sabotaging his relationships. I got a number of laughs in the first part of the novel, but Rob’s boorish behavior started to wear thin three-quarters into the book. He ultimately reflects, “It’s not what you like but what you’re like that’s important” and begins to change his ways. Sort of.

As far as comic novels go, you could no doubt find a better selection.

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