Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review - A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Title: A Long Way Down 
Author: Nick Hornb
Year: 2006
Page: 352
Genre: Fiction

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
New Year's Eve at Toppers' House, North London's most popular suicide spot. And four strangers are about to discover that doing away with yourself isn't quite the private act they'd each expected.

Perma-tanned Martin Sharp's a disgraced breakfast TV presenter who had it all - the kids, the wife, the pad, the great career - and wasted it away. Killing himself is Martin's logical and appropriate response to an unliveable life. "Maureen has to do it tonight, because of Matty being in the home. He was never able to do any of the normal things kids do - like walk or talk - and loving-mum Maureen can't cope any more. Dutiful Catholic that she is, she's ready to commit the "biggest sin of all"

Half-crazed with heartbreak, loneliness, adolescent angst, seven Bacardi Breezers and two Special Brews, Jess's ready to jump, to fly off the roof. Finally, there's JJ - tall, cool, American, looks like a rock-star, sometimes thinks he plays his guitar like one - who's weighted down with a heap of problems, and pizza.

Four strangers, who moments before were convinced that they were alone and going to end it all that way, share out the pizza and begin to talk ... Only to find that they have even less in common than first suspected." Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down is a novel that asks some of the big questions: about life and death, strangers and friendship, love and pain, and whether a group of losers, and pizza, can really see you through a long, dark night of the soul.

First Sentence:
Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • April book club pick
First thought:
  • Not my cup of tea... couldn't finish it
Cover Art:
  • Guess it is relevant to the book and is a little quirky
  • Since I couldn't finish the book, difficult for me to say whether it described the book
  • The writing was actually quite easy to read. It was the plot and characters that made me stopped reading...
  • To me, nothing much happened in 77 pages, and I got bored...
  • Funny enough, one of the book club members said LOTS happened in the book lol. 
  • I didn't really care about the 4 main characters. I didn't care whether they lived or died (the book started off with all 4 of them wanting to jump off the building). 
  • It was interesting to hear what the other book clubs members said about the 4 characters. Even though I couldn't participate much in the discussion, I liked to listen to learn what others thought of the book
  • I cheated and googled what happened. I probably would have ended the book a bit differently 
  • Bored... 
What I Learned:
  • That's right, I still don't like character-driven books!!! 
  • Funny enough, I was the only one who couldn't finish the book. One person didn't really like it, everyone else quite liked it! (there were about 12-15 of us?) I found I have quite a different reading taste from most of them though so that might not have been surprising. Joining this book club is like doing one of the blog book challenges - trying to push my limit :) I am glad I joined though, as I otherwise wouldn't read some of the books.
Read this Author again?
  • This was my first time reading this author. I had heard of him before but never really felt like I needed to read his book (or watch the movies based on his books). I am guessing I probably won't read him again... no in the near future anyway

Overall Rating:
0 Star. Did Not Finish.

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  1. I've been looking for a Nick Hornby book to read, so for now, I'll steer off this one. I am pretty OCD about starting a new author with the best read. A bumpy start, and I may never read the rest of that author's works. Sorry about this one.

  2. Since I am in the minority of not liking this book, maybe you shouldn't listen to me lol :) His two other books (which I also think are movies), High Fidelity and About a Boy, were mentioned during the discussion. Hope you'd be able to find one you like!