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High Fidelity

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  140,467 Ratings  ·  4,250 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-thirty-something English guy who runs a London record store. He sells albums recorded the old-fashioned way-on vinyl-and ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 5th 2000 by Penguin (first published 1995)
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Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {man, he never had a chance} I thinking John Bon Jovi, because of "You Give Love a Bad Name", since Marie said he wrote a song about their breakup...

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Jun 29, 2015 Jenn(ifer) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 downstream like a toy boat escaping from a 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 four years of c
Rick Monkey
May 16, 2008 Rick Monkey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jun 14, 2013 Samadrita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa Findley
Oct 23, 2007 Lisa Findley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
Jul 14, 2007 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 01, 2014 Agnieszka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Piotr
Shelves: own, 2014, reviewed

Rob runs a record store in London , has a two weird sidekicks , creates silly top-five lists of everything and his girlfriend Laura has just finished with him . What more could I say about him ? Well , Rob is thirty-five selfish asshole , pompous snob and a pathetic , emotionally immature loser . But I still like him . And who is immature now , huh ?

Do not worry , I will not treat you now with a tearful story about my ex , though I will tell you about a guy who , if I ever had compiled , in imi
Jun 03, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 10, 2013 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2014 Manny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not read the book, but I have seen the movie. Let me explain how much I liked it.

As things turned out, I watched it on a cross-Channel ferry travelling from Caen to Portsmouth. The trip takes about seven hours, and I was bored. I recall that I had packed Camus's La peste to read, and to my surprise I wasn't enjoying it at all. I was pleased to find that I had the option of seeing High Fidelity with Catherine Zeta-Jones, one of my favorite actresses. I paid my 3 and sat down to enjoy the n
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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, eve
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
Dec 23, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
In an homage to all the top five lists Rob composes throughout the story, here are my top five reasons for loving my re-read of High Fidelity:

1. Hooked from page one. The first page, and all the rest that follow, are effing brilliant. All of us have a top five list of memorable split-ups, and like Rob, we were probably the dumpee in most of them. Instant bittersweet connection with Rob, and empathy for everything that happens next.

2. The f bomb is literally dropped every other page and I even di
Jennifer D
Dec 30, 2011 Jennifer D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cait
Shelves: 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.
Aug 04, 2014 Fiona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
Mar 15, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 30, 2010 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 20, 2008 Darga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 20, 2013 Ginny_1807 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
4 1/2 stars

Thirty-six-year-old Rob, the book's narrator and owner of Champion Vinyl, a failing off-the-beaten-track record store, is famously a maker of top-five lists mostly to do with 1) records, 2) music, 3 musicians, 4) movies and 5) girls. He and his employees, Barry and Dick, work really hard at being unhappy and at a remove from the mainstream. Their philosophy?

" . . . Dick and Barry and I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like . . ."

Rob is dedicated to n
Jan 11, 2012 Sath rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Apr 08, 2008 Foodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2015 Sheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book grew on me. My annoyance with Rob was growing as I turned the pages, but just as I was about to completely hate him, he does things that makes him human, love sick human, human human, that I can't help but understand where he is coming from. I know I've been there. We do have our douchebag days. We do have things we do we can't logically explain why we do but still do anyway. We have our own quirks and hang ups. And... that's okay. It won't ever come easy,it won't ever be just as how w ...more
You mean the book where a pompous sack of sexist shit gets to not only take a dump on his independent ex-girlfriend, while acting pretentious based off of his 'extraordinary' music tastes, but gets her back and somehow everything between them just isn't just fixed - but somehow miraculously better?
The starred reviews for this are a fucking riot, celebrating Rob''s "manliness" and telling men not to share this with their girlfriends, because heaven forbid the SECRET WILL BE OUT.
Nov 11, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2009 Rauf rated it liked it
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.
Jul 10, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 21, 2013 matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Dec 30, 2007 Katelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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.:.Book Bodega.:.: Comment As You Read | High Fidelity by Nick Hornby 10 21 Apr 28, 2014 02:55PM  
leCtuRanDos: Κριτικές βιβλίου [High Fidelity] 1 4 Jan 30, 2014 04:28PM  
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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...

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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.” 3236 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?” 543 likes
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