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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

HIGH FIDELITY by Nick Hornby

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Rob Fleming started his narration by counting off his five (5) ex-girlfriends from the past. He was literally leaking off bitterness as he describes the breakups. The reader doesn’t have to go through the entire whole chapter to realize that Rob is a very sad loser.  His record store is barely making it, his parents (especially his mom) pities him, he takes comfort bantering with his (common loser) store clerks, and his recent girlfriend (Laura) just moved-in with another guy. These got Rob thinking, that maybe he had it figured all wrong. Maybe playing it safe isn’t the safest place to be after all.

I've committed to nothing...and that's just suicide...by tiny, tiny increments.

Rob’s fixation with lists is sooooo mental! No wonder his life is in chaos. But I have to hand it to this guy. How many guys do you know, who is willing to take a step back, look at his life from a distance and ask himself, “what makes me an arsehole”, “what is wrong with me”? Then he took the matter a little bit further by humiliating himself, seeking out his old girlfriends to get some answers. And I adored him for desperately wanting Laura back, for realizing his need and love for her. Not that Laura is one neat package herself, but just the same, she’s willing to help Rob move along –forward, hopefully.

Over the last couple of years, the photos of me when I was a kid... well, they've started to give me a little pang or something - not unhappiness, exactly, but some kind of quiet, deep regret... I keep wanting to apologize to the little guy: "I'm sorry, I've let you down. I was the person who was supposed to look after you, but I blew it: I made wrong decisions at bad times, and I turned you into me.

Hornby did a great job of showing a man’s emotion, that there is no straightforward male psyche. They cannot be categorized, itemized or defined neatly. And those just sounds like any woman too, right? Besides, who declared that a person should be established by thirty, anyways? Who decided that a loser always stays a loser? This isn’t exactly a gospel for how men think or feel, but it did give great insight. This novel is certainly clever, unpretentious, and a good test of patience. 


Book details:
Title:  High Fidelity (Kindle Edition)
Author:  Nick Hornby
Publication:  August 1, 1996
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★

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F2F 40, TFG Anniversary,
held at Baang Coffee, Tomas Morato.
Moderated by Aaron.
Photo courtesy of Alexa.


4 comments :

  1. Hi, Louize! FFP read this too a few years ago, I think. I remember not liking it. I found the main character too whiny.

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    1. Hahaha, yes, he's whiny and more besides. But I do appreciate how Hornby fleshed him out and get into our nerves. :)

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  2. "...good test of patience." -Ah, Rob is certainly this. And I must admit, I blew my top off from all his whining. I guess I'm not that patient too, eh? :D

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    1. Patience is certainly what Rob needs most. LOL! I like how that patience lead to understanding Hornby's message: Even jerks need a second chance. :)

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