"A Long Way Down" - Nick Hornby's hilarious bestseller about strangers and secrets. '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. ...Read More"A Long Way Down" - Nick Hornby's hilarious bestseller about strangers and secrets. '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 if cold pizza later and these four strangers are suddenly allies. But is their unlikely friendship a good enough reason to carry on living? Shortlisted for the 2005 Whitbread Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, "A Long Way Down" is a darkly hilarious and moving novel by bestselling author Nick Hornby. If you like Jonathan Coe, David Sedaris and David Nicholls, you will love this book. "A page-turning plot and rich, funny characters with several big laughs on every page...Hornby's best yet". ("Literary Review"). "Hornby's best novel to date, impossible to put down ...how can an examination of four people's anguish be so enthralling?" (Ruth Rendell, "Guardian"). "Masterful ...some of the finest writing, and some of the most outstanding characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading". (Johnny Depp). Nick Hornby has captivated readers and achieved widespread critical acclaim for his comic, well-observed novels "About a Boy", "How to be Good", "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
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If you have read the master piece About a boy you will love this book.The story is very moving and really enjoyable to read. Nick Hornby uses clever and funny devices to tell a story about four suicidal people who end up on the toppers house.There is a tv-presenter called martin who has slep with a underage girl and fells his life is over.A character called Jess a eighteen year old,and a american wanna be rock star called JJ. and lastly a single mum Maureen who has a disabled son.Nick hornby mentions lots of diffrent perspectives of the whole idea of suicide in a funny way. Mentioning Kurt cobain, sylvia plath and other suicide refrences and other sometimes sterotipical points of views on the subject.The four characters build a good friendship and try to help eachers problems out together . "Hornby pins down the age in which we live with precisions and comic brilliance" Guardian "Masterful...some of the finset wrighting, and some of the most outstanding characters" Johnny Depp
Apr 11, 2007
Somber Topic, but Hilarious Book
The protagonists of Hornby's book make up a sad, depressed lot. There's Martin, a washed up morning show host whose life has hit bottom after he was caught sleeping with a 15 year old girl. There's Maureen, a woman whose life since the age of 21 has centered around taking care of her severely disabled son, insuring she'd never have a life of her own. There's Jess, the carefree 18 year old who is a lot more vulnerable than her foul-mouth suggests. And finally, there's JJ, the lone American whose rock band has busted up and who got kicked out by his British girlfriend, his sole reason for being in England. On New Year's Eve, all four sad souls go up to the top of Topper's House, a well-known suicide spot to do the deed....and end up forming a group of sorts.
What's nice about this book is that it never travels the path of saccharine and group hugs. If anything, the Fab Four kind of loathe each other, but find they can't part from each other completely for whatever myriad of reasons. Hornby peppers the book with small insights of the profound persuasion into how each character approaches their near suicide experience, taking a very small toe-dip into serious waters. But overall, the book is pure Hornby-irreverance. He keeps things on the level (and funny in that dry British way) by making his characters realistically unpleasant at times and therefore human. There's no pretty light at the end of the tunnel, nor a grand finish with all sorts of revelations and pots of gold. But that's life. The kind tons of people get through without taking a swan dive. They just bitch about it....a lot.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-01 More than just a reading of Hornby's fourth novel, this audiobook is nearly an audio play with three excellent actors playing four characters. A famous pervert, an old maid, a crazy chick and a has-been rocker walk into a bar... well, they eventually do walk into a pub or two, but this disparate group of strangers first meet on a tower rooftop. Each of the quartet has independently decided to jump on New Year's Eve. Now, bonded by circumstance, they can't get rid of each other. Vance does a superb job rendering the glib tones of Martin, the TV anchor fallen from grace (he did jail time for having sex with a 15-year-old). His pompous but self-loathing delivery is dead on. Brick, with more than 150 audiobooks under his belt, perfectly nails the earnest voice and cockiness of J.J., the washed-up American rocker. And Kate Reading is outstanding playing both female characters. As Maureen, the older woman with no social life, she exudes quiet, naive dignity, but she really shines as Jess, the young wacko whose rudeness and rebellion are conveyed with a brash comical snap. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 4). (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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