Abhinav's Reviews > A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
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really liked it
bookshelves: the-cj-library, 2013-reading-saga, favorites, popular-fiction, humour, romance, satire, i-own-a-copy

Suicide is no laughing matter. Atleast that's what I thought till a few months back. Then I happened to watch this excellent movie called 'Hemlock Society', which was a dark comedy-drama about suicidal people. And now comes along Nick Hornby's only high-concept novel till date - 'A Long Way Down'.

'A Long Way Down' is about four people who meet on New Year's Eve on top of a London building, each planning to jump off & putting an end to their seemingly miserable lives. Martin is a disgraced former TV presenter, Maureen is a single mother raising a chronically-disabled son, Jess is a rebellious teenager & JJ is a has-been in the American rock scene. As the night progresses, the four of them somehow develop an unlikely alliance & understanding towards each other. Do they still jump off the building, or do they take the 'long way down'?

What's so 'high-concept' about it, you might ask. Given the fact that this book falls under popular fiction, the style of narration is one I've hardly come across before in the genre. I won't exactly call it chapter-less, but the story is narrated by these four characters - each giving his side of the story in sync with the main plot. It also ensures that this happens to be Hornby's best work as far as characterisation is concerned.

Nick Hornby's ability to make the reader laugh in the most unlikeliest of circumstances is perhaps one of the hallmarks of his writing, which is very much evident in this book too. What I also like about this book very much is how clearly Hornby expresses the conflicting emotions each of his characters go through in the different situations that arise throughout the course of this book.

The only drawback of this novel is its rather sappy ending, which is too sweet for its own good. Nevertheless, it left me smiling as most of Nick Hornby's books do.

4 stars to this dark, funny novel. Given I'm a fan of Hornby's works, I'd rate this alongside his best works 'About A Boy' & 'High Fidelity'. Highly recommended for fans of popular fiction.
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Reading Progress

February 16, 2013 – Shelved
February 16, 2013 – Shelved as: the-cj-library
March 10, 2013 –
page 26
7.07% "This is apparently Hornby's only attempt at writing a high-concept novel. Good start - different from Hornby's other works I've read." (Hardcover Edition)
March 10, 2013 –
page 26
7.07% "This is apparently Hornby's only attempt at writing a high-concept novel. Good start - different from Hornby's other works I've read." (Hardcover Edition)
March 11, 2013 – Started Reading
March 11, 2013 –
page 85
31.25% "Part One. Done. Part Two. Shuru!"
March 11, 2013 –
page 85
31.25% "Part One. Done. Part Two. Shuru!"
March 12, 2013 –
page 179
65.81% "So far, soooo gooooood!"
March 13, 2013 – Finished Reading
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013-reading-saga
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: favorites
March 18, 2013 – Shelved as: popular-fiction
March 19, 2013 – Shelved as: humour
March 19, 2013 – Shelved as: romance
March 19, 2013 – Shelved as: satire
April 13, 2013 – Shelved as: i-own-a-copy
September 6, 2014 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)
September 6, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read (Other Paperback Edition)

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