"How to be Good" is Nick Hornby's hilarious bestselling novel on life, love and charity. 'I am in a car park in Leeds when I tell my husband I don't want to be married to him any more...' London GP Katie Carr always thought she was a good person. With her husband David making a living as 'The Angriest Man in Holloway', she figured she could put up ...Read More"How to be Good" is Nick Hornby's hilarious bestselling novel on life, love and charity. 'I am in a car park in Leeds when I tell my husband I don't want to be married to him any more...' London GP Katie Carr always thought she was a good person. With her husband David making a living as 'The Angriest Man in Holloway', she figured she could put up with anything. Until, that is, David meets DJ Goodnews and becomes a good person too. A far-too-good person who starts committing crimes of charity like taking in the homeless and giving their kids' toys away. Suddenly Katie's feeling very bad about herself, and thinking that if charity begins at home, then maybe its time to move...This laugh-out-loud novel, from the bestselling author of "About a Boy" and "High Fidelity", will have you gripped from start to finish and will appeal to fans of David Nicholls and Jonathan Coe, as well as readers in need of a moral compass everywhere. "Pins you in your armchair ad won't let go..."How to be Good?" How to be bloody marvellous, more like". ("Mail on Sunday"). "It does exactly what it says on the cover. Hornby's prose is artful and effortless, his spiky wit as razored as a number-two cut". ("Independent"). "The writing is so funny, and the set-pieces so brilliant...Hornby's best book since Fever Pitch". (Lynn Truss, "The Times"). Nick Hornby has captivated readers and achieved widespread critical acclaim for his comic, well-observed novels "About a Boy", "A Long Way Down", "Juliet, Naked", "Slam" and "High Fidelity". His three works of non-fiction, "31 Songs" (shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award), "Fever Pitch" (winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award) and "The Complete Polysyllabic Spree" are also available from Penguin.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2001-06-25 H"Good" characters in novels are notoriously hard to create, not because goodness is uninteresting, but because when it's uncontaminated by self-interest it isn't plausible, especially in a comedy. In Hornby's (High Fidelity; About a Boy) hilarious novel, the problem of goodness is dumped on Dr. Katie Carr. After more than 20 years of marriage and two children, Katie has had it: she's having an affair, feels intellectually dull and wishes her husband, David, would turn into a different person. Unfortunately for her, she gets her wish when David, a bitter, semi-employed intellectual who writes a column for a local newspaper subtitled "The Angriest Man in Holloway," becomes a secular saint. To spite her after an argument in which she suggests that they divorce, he goes to a dreadlocked faith-healer named DJ GoodNews. When GoodNews lays his hands on David, he suddenly becomes loving, concerned and utterly humorless. He gives money away, stops writing his column, organizes housing for the homeless (inconveniently enough, with neighbors whose houses have empty rooms) and invites GoodNews to move in. David donates the children's surplus toys to charity and asks them to adopt the uncool kids at school as their friends; their son, Tom, hates this, but his sister, Molly, develops an alarmingly patronizing friendship with a smelly little girl named Hope. Just how will Katie handle being surrounded by all of this horrible goodness? Hornby relies less than usual upon pop references which would be inappropriate for Katie's character anyway, although Homer Simpson is invoked a few times but he has created, without them, a very funny agon of liberalism. (July 9) Forecast: Despite, or perhaps because of, the declining popularity of the self-conscious hipness that made High Fidelity such a hit, Hornby's latest should enjoy even wider U.S. sales, bolstered by a national print ad campaign and author tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-09-03 Kate, a doctor, wife and mother, is in the midst of a difficult decision: whether to leave or stay with her bitter, sarcastic husband David (who proudly writes a local newspaper column called "The Angriest Man in Holloway"). The long-term marriage has gone stale, but is it worth uprooting the children and the comfortable lifestyle? Then David meets a faith healer called Dr. Goodnews, and suddenly converts to an idealistic do-gooder: donating the children's computer to an orphanage, giving away the family's Sunday dinner to homeless people and inviting runaways to stay in the guest room (and convincing the neighbors to do likewise). Barber gives an outstanding performance as Kate, humorously conveying her mounting irritation at having her money and belongings donated to strangers, her guilt at not feeling more generous and her hilarious desire for revenge. Barber brilliantly portrays each eccentric character: hippie-ish Goodnews, crusading David, petulant children and, poignantly, the hesitant, halting Barmy Brian, a mentally deficient patient of Kate's who needs looking after. Barber's stellar performance turns a worthy novel into a must-listen event. Simultaneous release with Riverhead hardcover (Forecasts, June 25). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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