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How to Be Good
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How to Be Good

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  45,530 Ratings  ·  2,682 Reviews
According to her own complex moral calculations, Katie Carr has earned her affair. She's a doctor and her husband David is the self-styled Angriest Man in Holloway. But when David suddenly becomes good - properly, maddeningly, give-away-all-his-money good - Katie's sums no longer add up, and she is forced to ask herself some very hard questions.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 4th 2002 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published March 2001)
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F
Sep 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dont-like, 2013, uk
This book was terrible. I am not interested in reading a book about marriage & divorce. It was boring and just went on and on and on. It makes me never want to get married EVER. Just awful.
Libby
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think "How to be Good" certainly divided fans of Hornby who were used to his musical themes in High Fidelity and 31 Songs and his style in About a Boy. He was given a lot of criticism for writing the book from the perspective of a middle aged female but this did not bother me in the slightest. In fact I thought the book was witty and well written. I found myself identifying with Katie, despite her whiny repetitive moments. I loved her inner voice - I found things written on the page that I hav ...more
Shaina
To say I didn't get this book would be a profound understatement. Near as I can tell, it's about all the terrible, mundane ways life can grind you down, how hypocracy gets all of us in the end, and the way what was once beloved can turn into what you hate in the ones you used to love.

I found this book tremendously depressing. Also, it made me never want to get married or have kids. Ever.

I was tremendously disappointed in the ending as well, at the same time as I admired Hornby's technical skill.
...more
will
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
how to be good

As long time readers know (or maybe you don't) Maria and I read to each other. One of the joys of "naked Sunday" is the fact that we don't have to get up, spend the day wandering around the flat in our pyjamas (just 'cos it is called "naked Sunday" doesn't necessarily mean that we spend the day nekkid!), basically just slob about.

This Sunday we spent the whole morning (and a bit of the afternoon) in bed. We ate cereal, we drank cokes and we ate our way through a huge box of Runts.
...more
Jeff
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
As I started reading this I said to myself, “Jeff, maybe your first Hornby book probably should have been High Fidelity not this one.” The narrator’s a 40ish British woman who’s married to an angry guy and who has two kids and is currently having an affair, but you know brutal cynicism and snark transcend everything. It really does.

The questions is thus: If your spouse, suddenly goes from Mr./Mrs. Truculent, spewing venom everywhere, to someone who wants to do nothing but good deeds, do you:

1)
...more
Zaki
Nov 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How to Be Good could have appropriately been titled Who Gives a Shit? or How to be Good for Nothing because that's what Nick Hornby is with his cheesy writing style and trite observations.
Jon Cox
The last sentence of this book made me feel daft. I think I pretty much comprehended the majority of the book: the mild, slightly frantic despair that the main character feels over a marriage that is mutually dissatisfactory; the duplicitious and hypocritical nature of trying too hard to do good things when your own life is in shambles and you can't have fulfilling relationships with people that you actually know; the ambiguity that someone can feel when no option is without unacceptable costs. ...more
Eddie Owens
Mar 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carmen, Thomas and anyone who can admit to being human and flawed and can appreciate wry humor
Loved this book! I didn't think I would, actually, because it opens with the decaying of a marriage between two Brits with kids. The subject just doesn't grab me much, I mean, as escapist reading why would I want to read about an unhappy marriage? Before I knew it, though, I was sucked in by the marvelous writing and witty humor of Nick Hornby.

I had no idea where this book was going. There are so many unpredictable twists and turns and just when you think it couldn't get any crazier, it does. An
...more
Eva
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure how to rate this book..Nick Hornby is an author that I generally like. He has a great sense of humor and his writing seems effortless. It flows out of him naturally and one almost feels like he must have taken a day or something to finish writing a book. I'm sure that's not the case and that he slaves over them like all writers. This was not one of my favorite. I loved A Long Way Down and Funny Girl. I think the topic was perhaps not the right one for his writing style. The book de ...more
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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...
“The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.” 1654 likes
“You don't ask people with knives in their stomachs what would make them happy; happiness is no longer the point. It's all about survival; it's all about whether you pull the knife out and bleed to death or keep it in...” 312 likes
More quotes…