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High Fidelity

Cover of High Fidelity

High Fidelity

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From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, a wise and hilarious novel told in Nick Hornby's classic style.
Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers.
Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it's just that he's always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, a wise and hilarious novel told in Nick Hornby's classic style.
Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers.
Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it's just that he's always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 31, 1995
    British journalist Hornby has fashioned a disarming, rueful and sometimes quite funny first novel that is not quite as hip as it wishes to be. The book dramatizes the romantic struggle of Rob Fleming, owner of a vintage record store in London. After his girlfriend, Laura, leaves him for another man, he realizes that he pines not for sexual ecstasy (epitomized by a ``bonkus mirabilis'' in his past) but for the monogamy this cynic has come to think of as a crime. He takes comfort in the company of the clerks at the store, whose bantering compilations of top-five lists (e.g., top five Elvis Costello songs; top-five films) typify the novel's ingratiating saturation in pop culture. Sometimes this can pall: readers may find that Rob's ruminations about listening to the Smiths and the Lemonheads--pop music helps him fall in love, he tells us--are more interesting than his list of five favorite episodes of Cheers. Rob takes comfort as well in the company of a touring singer, Marie La Salle, who is unpretentious and ``pretty in that nearly cross-eyed American way''--but life becomes more complicated when he encounters Laura again. Hornby has earned his own place on the London bestseller lists, and this on-the-edge tale of musical addiction just may climb the charts here. First serial to Esquire.

  • Reviews for High Fidelity and Nick Hornby: As funny, compulsive and contemporary a first novel as you could wish for.—GQ

    "One of the top ten books of the year."—Entertainment Weekly

    "It is rare that a book so hilarious is also so sharp about sex and manliness, memory and music."—The New Yorker

    "Mr. Hornby captures the loneliness and childishness of adult life with such precision and wit that you'll find yourself nodding and smiling. High Fidelity fills you with the same sensation that you get from hearing a debut record album that has more charm and verve and depth than anything you can recall."—The New York Times Book Review

    "Hornby's seamless prose and offhand humor make for one hilarious set piece after another, as suffering, self-centered Rob ruminates on women, sex, and Abbey Road. But then he's forced to consider loneliness, fitting-in, death, and failure—and that is what lingers."—Spin

    "Keep this book away from your girlfriend—it contains too many of your secrets to let it fall into the wrong hands."—Details

    Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award

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    Penguin Publishing Group
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High Fidelity
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