Books I Loathed discussion

Loathed Titles > A Long Way Down (and a painful one, at that)

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message 1: by brook (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new)

brook | 3 comments A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Anyone else read it? I grabbed it for $3 as a quick summer read, but it soon morphed into something I was forcing myself to pick up just so I could call it complete and remove it from my sight.

The premise sounded like it could be good, but the characters were so unrelatable and the constant bickering for the duration of the story just felt like nails on a chalkboard to me. The cherry on top of this painful experience was the character Jess. Every chapter from her perspective made me want to throw the book out the window. Oh, so her sister disappeared and that's why she's a completely selfish annoying unintelligent immature mean blathering girl? Doesn't quite cut it for me. Her "progression" by the end of the tale was so pathetic - believing in gods taught to her by a guy who refused to have a name, fondly referred to as "Nodog" by Jess. You've got to be kidding me.

Ugh ugh ugh. Worst 3 bucks I've spent.

message 2: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
I heard it sucked, and it's good to hear detailed reasons why. What a shame -- his other books are so fun.

message 3: by Jenny (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Jenny (thejencanread) I certainly didn't hate this book, but it was kind of a waste of time. About a Boy and High Fidelity are so funny, and I think Hornby was trying to branch out into darker humor, but he kind of...failed.

It's probably bad to read a book about survivors of suicide "attempts" and wish the word "attempt" didn't have to be added on.

message 4: by Hope (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new)

Hope | 3 comments I think that Hornby’s “thing” is that he creates characters that are kind of unlikeable, but then makes them sympathetic and relatable. I loved How to Be Good for that purpose. I wanted to hate the main character so much, but at the same time I couldn’t really argue with what he was doing. But in A Long Way Down he created several unlikeable characters and couldn’t make a single one of them sympathetic OR relatable. I agree, I wish they had all succeeded in killing themselves on the first page. I was really disappointed.

message 5: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Jessica (jes3ica) | 4 comments Yes! I quite liked High Fidelity and About a Boy, but found this book almost unreadable. Every character introduced seemed viler and less interesting than the last, each narrative voice more eye-roll-inducing. Here's a question for you all: which character did you hate the most? I think I'll have to go with brook on this one and say Jess, but it's a tough call.

message 6: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Jessica, my most hated character was definitely Jess. Although at my book club someone compared her to Rayeann from My So-Called Life which for some reason made me hate her a smidgeon less, but not much.

message 7: by Jennie (new)

Jennie | 38 comments I read this awhile ago so I don't remember the specifics. I do remember detesting it however. It was a huge disappointment after his others. I am totally in love with High Fidelity, book and movie. "How to be Good" was genius, too. "A Long Way Down"? I just wanted them to all kill themselves already.

message 8: by Emma (new)

Emma Actually I really enjoyed A Long Way Down. But when I first picked it up I hadn't read any of Hornby's other books so I had no preconceptions and wasn't comparing it to any other works.
A Long Way Down inspired me to check out his other books so I read About a Boy and High Fidelity, both of which I really enjoyed.

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