High Fidelity
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High Fidelity

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  118,575 ratings  ·  3,517 reviews
It has been said often enough that baby boomers are a television generation, but the very funny novel High Fidelity reminds that in a way they are the record-album generation as well. This funny novel is obsessed with music; Hornby's narrator is an early-thirtysomething English guy who runs a London record store. He sells albums recorded the old-fashioned way—on vinyl—and...more
Paperback, 323 pages
Published August 1996 by Riverhead Trade (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jenn(ifer)
May 09, 2012 Jenn(ifer) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: your inner music nerd
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: i saw the sign

I have a problem.

You see, when it comes to reviewing my favorite books, I’m all thumbs. Coherent thoughts elude me and float down the stream like a toy boat that has escaped from the little boy’s grasp.

Rob is my soul mate, you see. He and I are the same fucked up, insecure, too-much-in-our-own-head-for-our-own-good person. I think he would get me. Really Get me.

Or maybe it's just Hornby who gets me. Mr. Hornby, you make me want to wear dresses.

During my last year of high school and through all...more
Rick Monkey
I realize that I give far too many books a four or five star rating. So sue me.

Book buying isn't, you know, a quick thing for me. I browse, I choose, I read the blurbs inside, I deliberate, I read a chapter from ever book I've chosen.

In short, I only read things I'm really likely to like.

So, I will tell you right now, if there were a way to give [High Fidelity] six stars, I would.

Ostensibly it's a novel about pop music and love. But if that's what you're seeing, then you are reading it wrong.

It'...more
Samadrita
Jun 14, 2013 Samadrita rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with a love for music and a realistic story
High Fidelity is several things at once.
It is a specimen of guylit (I just invented the term yes) - romance and single life explained from the point of view of a man. And we have so few of those.
It is a humorous reflection on life and its many failings.
And lastly, it is the tale of a Brit singleton in his mid thirties who is unrelentingly firm in his reluctance to grow into a man.
A man who is so caught up in his fantasies of the ultimate love one is destined to end up with, that he ignores the...more
David
Jul 14, 2007 David rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Zach Braff, if there are any
Nick Hornby writes about losers and makes them lovable. But not this time. I couldn't stand the self-pitying little git, his loser wanker record store buddies, nor their ridiculous fracking lists. Reading this book felt like being trapped in an elevator with the pathetic Scrubs douchebag (Zachy McWhinerson, or whatever his fracking name is) for an entire weekend. You know the type - the constant puppy need for the approval of every critter on the planet, all the time. It might seem like a charmi...more
Lisa Findley
Top Five Reasons to Read This Book:
1) Offers multiple opportunities to fall off your chair laughing.
2) Draws entirely convincing characters making stupid decisions and dealing with the repercussions.
3) Reminds you of all sorts of artists you must check out further.
4) Answers the "what if" questions of past relationships with horrifying clarity.
5) Satirizes but ultimately validates top-five lists.
Jessica
Jun 03, 2008 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the listers, the listed, the enlisted, the unlisted, the listless
Shelves: leetle-boys
This is the only Nick Hornby book I've read, and it seemed like a good introduction to the genre I imagine must be called "dick lit." I read it on a plane to the West Coast, and it was the perfect thing: started at take-off, finished just before landing, this had the perfect proportions of light and engaging for 30,000 feet. Ultimately, I found it sort of silly and empty and I had a hard time choosing between two and three stars, but I thought I'd give it a break here, because even though it was...more
Jr Bacdayan
Remember all those Romantic films or even the hapless Romantic Comedies you’ve seen, the infinitesimal, clichéd and hopelessly repetitive plots? The same guy and gal meet somewhere odd or mildly weird so that things are interesting. Probably a boss and employee type of thing (The Proposal? Go to hell, Ryan Reynolds, you big-mouthed wanker!) Or two people from very far places brought together by kismet or something as appallingly believable (Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got Mail, Philadelphia? Wa...more
Buggy
Opening line: My desert -island, all time, top five most memorable split-ups, in chronological order:”

This is one of those modern classics on everyone’s “to read” list and while it wasn’t my first Nick Hornby book it is the one that everyone talks about so of course I went into this expecting to be awed. I guess I should mention that I haven’t seen the movie (what! I know) so I knew nothing about the storyline, not that that would have influenced me I just went into this blind.

And, well I wish...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

3.5 Stars

I’d like my life to be like a Bruce Springsteen song. Just once. I know I’m not born to run, I know that the Seven Sisters’ Road is nothing like Thunder Road, but feelings can’t be so different, can they?




When Rob’s live-in girlfriend walks out on him, he’s left questioning all of his relationships and what led up to this point.

When I first read High Fidelity umpteen years ago, I thought it was a home run. Grand slam, even...more
Jennifer D
Dec 30, 2011 Jennifer D rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cait
Shelves: ebook, 2011-books
Nick Hornby is da bomb! Seriously. He's funny, astute and while one might think they are reading a straight-forward, comedic tale, there are some fairly deep assessments going on within. Some moments made me laugh out loud and some moments, all too relatable, made my heart hurt. Also - Hornby's book totally made me have an awesome dream about John Cusack and that can never be a bad thing. Ever.
Ginny_1807
Leggero e divertente senza essere mai banale o scontato, questo libro è quanto di più accattivante e gradevole si possa sperare di incontrare nel corso delle proprie incursioni nel mondo della lettura.
La trama è scarna, ma viene arricchita e movimentata da una inesauribile vena ironica, dalle brillanti trovate del protagonista e da una schiera di personaggi bizzarri e imprevedibili.
Bob Fleming ha una vera fissazione per la musica pop, tanto da averne fatto il proprio mondo, la propria forza e...more
Greg
Rarely do I catch myself reading a book after I'd already seen the movie (mostly because I feel as if the movie TAKES something from the book while the book GIVES something to a movie, and thus the order should always be book first and movie second -- so that the book starts with the upper hand), but having enjoyed the movie so much I found myself craving more behind the story.

I wasn't disappointed. Biggest difference that I wasn't originally aware of was the location difference, which helped me...more
Caitlin Constantine
I'd only ever seen the movie, and thought John Cusack's character came across as a colossal ass of epic proportions. (Not just a colossal ass, and not just an ass of epic proportions. He was a combination of the two.) Enough time had passed and I was not really wanting to read any of the more "literary" novels I have kicking around, so I found this on my Kindle and gave it a go.

Let's just say the main character doesn't benefit much from a literary treatment. How to describe Nick? He's a Nice Guy...more
Ana
I loved this book. I LOVED it. Again, one of those rare reads that just make you feel so much better about everything around you. And not because the characters were shitty and their life story was worse than yours, but because the characters and the overall plot was so well put together and so well written that all you could do was relax, leave criticism at the door and enter the book's amazing palace!

One way or another, Hornby manages to reveal information after information with ease and intr...more
Mariel
Sep 30, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: list makers
Recommended to Mariel by: um... the movie?
I wish High Fidelity had been about the friends from the music shop. They were a lot funnier than... can't remember his name. Can I just say John Cusack? John Cusack used to wear band t-shirts in all his films (notably The Clash). This guy should have been wearing t-shirts to proclaim his taste to the world. It's been a while since I've read this but I think he was listening to stuff like Arab Strap (wow, haven't listened to them in like fifteen years) and The Pixies? Anyway, I don't think it wa...more
Darga
Mar 20, 2008 Darga rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: girls i have dated/am dating/will date, guys doing the breakup dance
"sex is about the only grown-up thing i know how to do; it's weird, then, that it's the only thing that can make me feel like a ten-year-old"


"so maybe what i said before, about how listening to too many records messes your life up... maybe there's something in it after all. david owen, he's married right? he's taken care of all that, and now he's a big-shot diplomat. the guy who came into the shop with the suit and the car keys, he's married too, and now he's, i don't know
a businessman. me, i'm...more
Fiona
There is a 90% chance I am getting made redundant in the next week. How am I feeling? On a scale of one to rubbish, I feel Reading High Fidelity For The First Time Since I Was Sixteen And Had Just Broken Up With A Boy.

Didn't even like the job much. Just don't like the uncertainty. Quite like Nick Hornby, though. For medicinal reasons.

*****

Look out below - apparently Goodreads is my blog today. Caveat lector.

If it matters to anyone, particularly (aside from me, obviously) - I kept my job. The off...more
Sath
Jan 11, 2012 Sath rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: compulsive list makers, jaded depressed individuals, and real human beings
High Fidelity is one of my Top 5 All-time favourite movies.

(And not only because it's a Cusack movie).

Strange then, that I didn't realise for a few years that it was based on a book, and embarassing that I didn't realise, 'til I picked it up, this year, that it was a British book. Shame on me.

Rob Flemming is a 30something Record store owner, whose life has hit a bit of a rut. He spends his working day (in a store which has very few customers), hanging out with his social misfit employees, makin...more
Foodie
Nick Hornby's writings (About a boy, High fidelity, How to be good, A long way down etc) are classic takes on modern-day relationships that we often label as love, thereby casting useful insights into the minds of characters that any reader can instantly relate to. Well, not any reader. But if you -
1. Are living a life that's chaotic, boring and confusing all at once
2. Are facing dilemmas about love, sex, compatibility, fidelity etc.
3. Love your parents but can't live with them
4. Love your partn...more
Michael
Rob Fleming is a thirty something London record store owner who has just lost his girlfriend Laura. Rob recalls his five most memorable break ups and then proceeds to get in touch with these girls in order to find out why they all ended up leaving him. Over at Championship Vinyl, Rob and his employees Dick and Barry spend their time demonstrating their vast music knowledge and constructing top five lists for every situation imaginable.

I really loved the movie High Fidelity, one of my favourites...more
matt


I can't believe I haven't listed this or anything yet.

O Jesus...I don't even have time now...

***

Ok, ok, Top Five Reasons that I'm going to review this book now:

* I can't let Steve down

* This is the basis for one of the best movies of its era, a movie that pretty much everybody I've ever been friends with has seen a hundred times and can quote at will...pretty much the definition of a popular classic in anyone's book.

* The book isn't necessarily better than the movie (only shallow people...more
Rauf
Sep 26, 2009 Rauf rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Great at the beginning. Loses some steam in the middle. Crashes and burns in the end. This book is as tasty as a regular Wonka's Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight but don't expect any golden ticket inside.
Asgoasgo
Ecco, per stilare una classifica, cinque libri indimenticabili:

1) Animal Farm di George Orwell
2) David Copperfield di Charles Dickens
3) Simmetrie amorose di Jeanette Winterson
4) Saltatempo di Stefano Benni
5) Breakfast at Tiffany's di Truman Capote.

Ecco quelli che mi hanno lasciato davvero qualcosa. Ci vedi forse il tuo libro lì in mezzo, Nick? Ammetto che rintreresti fra i primi dieci, ma non c'è spazio per te fra i primi cinque; sono posti destinati a quel genere di emozioni, personaggi e di v...more
Katelyn
Dec 30, 2007 Katelyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a fear of commitment
This book was a page turner for me. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. The book had it's funny parts. I especially enjoyed when the main character, Rob, recalls his five most memorable breakups and wonders what happened to them and why they left him. He makes this list when his most recent girlfriend, Laura leaves him.

Rob makes tons of list throughout the book...seems to be a little OCD in that department!

The book also contains many great quotes such as, "Are they listening to pop music...more
Danielle
At first I gave it 4 stars, but who am I kidding, I read it as slowly as possible so that it wouldn't end! I loved it.
Sarah
I've got mixed feelings about this novel. Awesome moments and annoying/displeasing moments were shared equally over the course of this story. I either really enjoyed it or completely detested it, never somewhere in between.

The main character, Rob, is whiny and rude. He can be offensive at times, primarily with regard to feminism and things of that nature. He definitely thinks he knows it all and is very self-serving. Though I do understand the selfish nature of humans, and I like that that was...more
Nickolette
The first time I’ve encountered Nick Hornby was a few years ago in Berkley, California. I was in one of the many bookstores out there and his compilation of articles Housekeeping vs. Dirt had just come out. At that time I was working as a housekeeper and I thought this was one of fate sophisticated signs. Kismet. When I discovered he was the author behind one of my all time top five movies, it was all I needed to know.

So... High Fidelity is in the list Light but not (too) dumb, which is about r...more
Tara
Jul 10, 2008 Tara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tara by: Mike B.
Most engaging book I've read in a long, long time. Laughed out loud in a lot of places and it's probably been years since a book did that for me. Very quirky, but surprisingly poignant, too, full of great lines/scenes.

Some of my favorites:

"Every time I think I have got to the bottom, I find a new way to sink even lower, but I know that this is the worst, and that whatever happens to me from now on, however poor or stupid or single I get, these few minutes will remain with me as a shining caution...more
Martine
Feb 16, 2008 Martine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men who like music and women who want to understand how men really feel about women
If there is a more insightful and funnier look into the male psyche out there than High Fidelity, I have yet to find it. Nick Hornby's debut is as astute an analysis of male neurosis as Bridget Jones's Diary is of female neurosis. It's a masculine Bridget Jones, really, and should be compulsory reading for every woman who has ever wondered how men really feel about life, the universe and everything -- everything here meaning sex, relationships and all that.

High Fidelity is about Rob, a thirty-fi...more
Greg
I wanted to hate this book when I read it, but I found instead that I really liked it.
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2929
Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is a recipient of the American Acade...more
More about Nick Hornby...
About a Boy A Long Way Down How to Be Good Juliet, Naked Fever Pitch

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“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands - literally thousands - of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.” 2901 likes
“What came first – the music or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?” 426 likes
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