A Long Way Down

Books A Long Way Down Oh popular authors I m always so nervous about you I mean on the one hand I always figure that

Books A Long Way Down Oh popular authors, I'm always so nervous about you. I mean, on the one hand I always figure that if so many people like you, there must be something good about you. But then, so many people like harlequin romances, and Dane Cook, and Big Brother. People are idiots. Even when they aren't, they can't always be trusted. My friend Amy actually loved Confessions of a Slacker Wife, and my husband really liked The Innocent Man, a.k.a. Was John Grisham Always This Bad And I Just Didn't Notice?, and my friend Karen lists as her top three books ever Eli Wiesel's Night (awesome), The Kite Runner (also awesome), and friggin Million Little Pieces (total crap). These are bright, funny people. I voluntarily hang out with them. But they actually enjoy books that are total tripe, so the fact that people on the whole enjoy Nick Hornby's books means nothing.I enjoyed the hell out of Long Way Down. Seriously, I did not expect to love it this much. And then a friend asked me what I was reading, and all I had to say was 'This book about four people who, separately, decide to throw themselves off a tall building on New Years Eve, but then they all get up there and, hey, there's three other people up here. Well, this is awkward' and now she's going to read it, because how hilarious is that? What a ridiculous and somehow totally believable premise!Ok, so it's New Years Eve, and Martin (because he is an alcoholic ex-morning-show-host who has been in all the papers lately for sleeping with a fifteen-year-old who, to his credit, told him she was sixteen, which isn't exactly illegal, but whose wife left him for it anyways, and took their two kids), Maureen (because her son Matty is a vegetable, always has been and always will be, and she hasn't done anything worth mentioning in the last twenty years besides care for him and become socially awkward), JJ (because his band broke up and his girlfriend left him, although the reason he initially gives is that he has CCR, a totally fictional disease and also a wicked 60's rock band) and Jess (because she has family and relationship problems, but mostly just because she is young and nuts and it seemed like a good idea at the time) have all lugged themselves to the top of Toppers' House with the intention of doing themselves in. But then, how do you toss yourself off a building when there's other people hanging around? No one wants to be the first, and for sure no one wants to be the last. So they get to chatting and eventually decide to go solve Jess's most immediate problem, which has something to do with a boy and an explanation.That solved, they begin finding other things to do, other things to tether them to the earth and keep them from jumping. Oh sure, they still talk about it, and even arrange to meet back on Toppers' on Valentine's Day so they can finally give themselves the old heave-ho. But with one thing and another, it's really hard to find time to kill yourself, you know?At one point, Maureen (she of the vegetable son) says, 'You'd think this would be the story of four people who met because they were unhappy, and wanted to help each other. But it hadn't been...it had been the story of four people who met because they were unhappy and then swore at each other.' And it never changes. Martin begins the book by sitting on Jess's head (to prevent her from jumping, which is ostensibly kind but kind of a rough way to go about things) and the last page finds her listing all the ways that he's failed at life.And yet, even though the characters are perverted (Martin), coarse (Jess), lazy (JJ), and really insurmountably lame (Maureen), and none of them says more than two kind words to each other the entire 333 pages, they're terribly endearing. It's their complete reluctance to be together combined with their absolute need for each other that sets the stage for all of the hilarious moments (of which there are many) and all of the poignant ones (of which there are mercifully few). Nothing really is solved, and no one lives happily ever after, but I closed the book with such a sense of sweet satisfaction. I never do this, because I think it's cheating, but I'm going to steal a line from the New York Times Book Review: 'Hornby is a writer who dares to be witty, intelligent and emotionally generous all at once.'Hear hear.(review originally posted on www.booksidoneread.blogspot.com). A Long Way Down are Books In his eagerly awaited fourth novel, New York Times bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they ve reached the end of the line Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen Four people who come together on New Year s Eve a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother Three are British, one is AmerIn his eagerly awaited fourth novel, New York Times bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they ve reached the end of the line Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen Four people who come together on New Year s Eve a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother Three are British, one is American They encounter one another on the roof of Topper s House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives In four distinct and riveting first person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life What s your jumping off point MaureenWhy is it the biggest sin of all All your life you re told that you ll be going to this marvelous place when you pass on And the one thing you can do to get you there a bit quicker is something that stops you getting there at all Oh, I can see that it s a kind of queue jumping But if someone jumps the queue at the post office, people tut Or sometimes they say Excuse me, I was here first They don t say You will be consumed by hellfire for all eternity That would be a bit strong MartinI d spent the previous couple of months looking up suicides on the Internet, just out of curiosity And nearly every single time, the coroner says the same thing He took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed And then you read the story about the poor bastard His wife was sleeping with his best friend, he d lost his job, his daughter had been killed in a road accident some months before Hello, Mr Coroner I m sorry, but there s no disturbed mental balance here, my friend I d say he got it just right JessI was at a party downstairs It was a shit party, full of all these ancient crusties sitting on the floor drinking cider and smoking huge spliffs and listening to weirdo space out reggae At midnight, one of them clapped sarcastically, and a couple of others laughed, and that was it Happy New Year to you, too You could have turned up to that party as the happiest person in London, and you d still have wanted to jump off the roof by five past twelve And I wasn t the happiest person in London anyway Obviously JJNew Year s Eve was a night for sentimental losers It was my own stupid fault Of course there d be a low rent crowd up there I should have picked a classier date like March 28, when Virginia Woolf took her walk into the river, or November 25 Nick Drake If anybody had been on the roof on either of those nights, the chances are they would have been like minded souls, rather than hopeless f ck ups who had somehow persuaded themselves that the end of a calendar year is in any way significant.. Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short story collection Speaking with the Angel He is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E M Forster Award and the winner of the 2003 Orange Word International Writers London Award Among his many other honors and awards, four of his titles have been named New York Times Notable Books A film written by Hornby, An Education shown at the Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim was the lead movie at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival and distributed by Sony that fall That same September, the author published his latest novel, Juliet, Naked to wide acclaim Hornby lives in North London.. Bestseller Book A Long Way Down jump already! and take the book with you.

About Author

  1. Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short story collection Speaking with the Angel He is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E M Forster Award and the winner of the 2003 Orange Word International Writers London Award Among his many other honors and awards, four of his titles have been named New York Times Notable Books A film written by Hornby, An Education shown at the Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim was the lead movie at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival and distributed by Sony that fall That same September, the author published his latest novel, Juliet, Naked to wide acclaim Hornby lives in North London.

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A Long Way Down Comment


  1. Oh popular authors, I m always so nervous about you I mean, on the one hand I always figure that if so many people like you, there must be something good about you But then, so many people like harlequin romances, and Dane Cook, and Big Brother People are idiots Even when they aren t, they can t always be trusted My friend Amy actually loved Confessions of a Slacker Wife, and my husband really liked The Innocent Man, a.k.a Was John Grisham Always This Bad And I Just Didn t Notice , and my friend [...]


  2. I ve been down, I don t wanna say depressed I don t wanna use the term lightly There are lots of people with real problems, people diagnosed with clinical depression but I m not one of those I m just a university student with an unpredictable proclivity for melancholia Sure, I m a little bit melodramatic at times But, hey Who isn t And when you feel a bit down in the dumps sometimes you need something relatable and so I gave this a go.Do you know that feeling when you re stuck in a long bus ride [...]


  3. I didn t get into Hornby for the same reason as everyone else, they like Jon Cusak in High Fidelity A Long Way Down was recommended to me by a friend and I needed a light read for the summer so I picked it up.I have never actually laughed out loud while reading a book until I read this one Running With Scissors was the closest I came, but Augusten Burroughs was such an unrealistic and absurd character, which is ironic because he was based on a real person , that it seemed too ridiculous to find [...]


  4. I had high hopes for this book, because my brother recommended this to me My brother, the one who tried to make fun of me on a book fanpage for liking books only reads books when they re written by either Barney Stinson or basketball playersSo when that guy says a certain book is good, you go for it.This is the story of four people who want to commit suicide on New Year s Eve Of course, this is pretty much the most popular night to rob yourself of your own life, so it s not that surprising that [...]


  5. This book, as many others, is not for everyone I can completely understand that many people find those characters annoying and the whole story pointless Nevertheless I am of the opinion that this book can give you hope Of course this seems to be a silly thing to say considering the topic and all those miserable characters But let me explain Apparently Johnny Depp called the characters some of the most outstanding he s ever had the pleasure of reading And I can agree They re all really fucked up, [...]


  6. warning minor spoilers suicide mentions statutory rape edit You know what, this book doesn t deserve my mercy I really hated it and it still makes me angry whenever I think about it I m going to lower my rating to 1 star.I had to read this book for college, and when I read the synopsis, I thought it seemed quite good I liked the idea, but the characters completely ruined this for me and not much happened as well.These characters are VERY PROBLEMATIC Let s have a look at some quotes that pissed m [...]


  7. Boy, is there anyone who has offered up stinkers than Nick flippin Hornby And, was he so great to begin with Even his better, earlier works were marginally good Nothing life changing Which is kinda the point of why he s so awful he is intentionally trying to be life changing in every book, essay, magazine column or whatever He thinks he can somehow find the right prose combination for some idea or mindset to click and for it to change one s life much like these things do to characters in his bo [...]


  8. I may have forgotten how to do this entirely, so bear with me 4 Unexpected Stars A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby was a surprising read for me Not only did I find it unique for the genre sub genre itself but I also found it surprising how much I enjoyed reading it There is plenty of evidence on my read shelf of the fact that suicide related books generally do little to nothing for me excepting The Virgin Suicides As you can probably surmise, this is a story which revolves around that incredibly di [...]


  9. I m a Nick Hornby fan And it s than just enjoying his writing I have a warm and fuzzy affection for him So even when one of his books fails to utterly delight and transport me How to Be Good, for example , I m still on his side Michiko Kakutani clearly has no such affection for Hornby Her review of A Long Way Down is savage Her chief complaint is that the book contrives to arrive at an implausibly sappy conclusion Which is odd, because I think the book admirably avoids easy answers or cloying s [...]


  10. This book almost deserved one star The only thing that saved it from being a complete and utter waste of my time was that Nick Horny writes the occasional very witty passage, and there were two count them, two observations that I found actually interesting So that totals about five pages that I actually enjoyed.The rest was quintessential fluffy drivel, which does have its place, but not when the book is discussing suicide, the meaning of life or the lack thereof , and other such Profound Topics [...]


  11. I just read this book in two days It was great The story is told from four perspectives, and because of the great writing by Hornby you can t set it down mid chapter You want to race through the chapters to complete each character s thoughts and the picture each one is painting of the same storyline What a great concept too, four strangers meet and share a suicidal moment, and end up sharing because of meeting each other.Each character was hilarious in their own right, which was also great, sui [...]


  12. I m such a freakin fence rider I can see why people would love this book I can see why people would loathe this book But can I pick one side or the other myself No Heck, I can t pick out pizza toppings or ice cream flavors, so why should I be able to figure out whether to give this book one star or five I hope I m not the only one who feels this way about reviewing books I feel so isolated Four people decide to kill themselves and go to the local suicide hotspot on the suicide night of the year, [...]


  13. this book was so infuriating i found it in borders, on sale for 3 i thought it was a steal, and i really enjoyed high fidelity, so why not now i just feel ripped offe story is about 4 random people that meet on the roof a building they all want to kill themselves, for completely pitiful reasons they end up not killing themselves in fact, they journey through the path to recovery by depending on one another the thing is, they don t even get along, and none of the characters are very likeable or r [...]


  14. This is a dark comedy for it is about suicide and reading this is both entertaining and thought provoking.This is my 1st book by a contemporary British author, Nick Hornby born 1957 His other works, High Fidelity 1995 , About a Boy 1998 and How to be Good 2001 all ended up in New York Times Bestsellers and two have already been adapted to movies I just picked up this bargain book as I was intrigued by its plot I read later that Johnny Depp bought the story while it was still being written The mo [...]



  15. 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 [...]



  16. I came to this book not knowing what to expect I knew that people spoke highly of Nick Hornby, and that his books elicit thought and introspection, and I was coming from a background of mostly fantasy and sci fi readings, so I was a bit cautious about approaching the book.Having said that, I am glad to have taken the plunge, because this is quite honestly one of the most amazing books I ve had the pleasure to read Nick Hornby really nails the mood and the characterization here, and I have nothin [...]


  17. One wouldn t think that a book that begins when the four main characters meet on a roof, each contemplating suicide, could be touching AND funny, but this was The relationships these characters develop with one another reveal the way that external situations can create unlikely friendships, and how difficult a word like friend can be to use or comprehend To quote the Publishers Weekly review, If Camus had written a grown up version of The Breakfast Club, the result might have had than a little [...]


  18. Romanzo senza infamia n lode O forse l ascriverlo alla categoria delle letture senzainfamian lode gi una consistente e minacciosa infamia.Diciamo, allora, romanzo da me marchiato con il lugubre timbro dell Indifferenza Sono metaforicamente e concretamente la stessa persona lettrice che ero prima di cominciarne la lettura b , ok, lo ammetto, mi spuntato un brufolo forse due nel frattempo, ma non credo di avere il diritto di accusare Nick Hornby di tale misfatto Esperienza che non ha avuto alcun e [...]


  19. A couple of laughes does not save this book This is my only book by Hornby so I cannot compare it to his other work, but I wish I had not stepped off the ledge and bought the damn thing I honestly didn t realize I could care less about 4 people contemplating suicide, but the fact is I just didn t care, and the reason is Hornby did not give me a reason to care These four characters have very little to redeem them.



  20. a note on misters folds and hornby and why they should be appreciated if not enjoyed So I have been listening to the new CD by hornby and folds pretty straight for the last day short of the time I have been working or sleeping I ll get to this specific book be patient Seldomly do I have any idea that something is coming out in advance I almost never know if a band I like has a new cd, sometimes until years later, and I learn about a new book by walking by it in the store or karen putting it asid [...]


  21. Did I enjoy this book There s got to be at least one character in a book that I care about I was slogging through a modern classic I won t name it here with the least likable set of characters I d ever encountered I pushed through to the halfway mark, and then I said, Why am I doing this I m going to find a novel whose people touch my heart I was lucky enough to pick up Nick Hornby s A Long Way Down I really enjoyed the book.The cover of my copy of A Long Way Down shows four pairs of shoes hover [...]


  22. Four strangers meet at arguably the lowest point in their lives and form an unlikely bond Unlikely because these four people are so very different from each other that under normal circumstances they would never ever cross paths.I laughed right out loud at several times while reading not what I expected at all.I enjoyed how each character took turns telling the story of their lives, their loves, their sorrows As the book progressed it was like peeling the layers of an onion, the reader gains dee [...]


  23. Ho iniziato convinta di leggere un libro sul suicidio Un suicidio di gruppo, ma pur sempre un suicidio Sfogliando le pagine ho conosciuto quattro volti e quattro vite Tutte diversissime tra loro, quasi agli antipodi Continuando a leggere ho scoperto che in realt stavo ascoltando una storia sola e non quattro, ma osservata da quattro punti di vista diversi Ognuno raccontato secondo uno sguardo diverso, ognuno con il proprio linguaggio Ho scoperto che alla fine non era una storia sul suicidio o su [...]


  24. There s a terrifying passage in David Foster Wallace s Infinite Jest that has stuck with me, about suicidal depression and the importance of someone staying up with you and being there through the long night until the dawn This book, about four people who meet attempting to jump to their deaths from the top of a London tower, is not that In general, Hornby doesn t really attempt to capture the internal feeling of severe depression, focusing on the interactions between the four It ends up playin [...]


  25. Nick Hornby has such a distinctive voice For me, the plot of his novels always takes a backseat to simply enjoying his fingerprints all over the pages It sounds extreme, but I find myself processing his books sentence by sentence rather than chapter by chapter This particular novel is definitely edgy territory suicide but, as usual, Hornby finds a way to somehow skirt the fine line between humor and the devastating realities of loneliness, unfulfilled dreams, lack of internal peace, etc that mos [...]


  26. First Nick Hornby book I ve ever read I thought the characters were really believable but I hated JJ, don t know why but I could never be bothered with his chapters Don t care about his ex band or ex girlfriend.


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