Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

A decent but not impressive exploration, neither light-hearted nor detailed inquiry, on the issue of suicide. This was my first Hornby novel, although I did enjoy the films High Fidelity and About a Boy. The novel follows four people, of diverse character and circumstances, who met on the rooftop of a building where they had all planned to kill themselves. A support group of sorts begins and they are in each other’s lives for the next several months. The presentation of this novel was interesting in that it was told from the perspective of each of the four people in succession but not all at once. Each character would describe a situation and then pretty much the same situation would be described by the others, and then this would repeat for a new situation.
I do like this, as the characters were decently developed and they seemed to act true to form. One does believe the characters had reasons for acting as they would. I even laughed out loud at a couple points. Further, because it was an audio presentation there were three different British voices and amusing little expressions to enjoy. That said, this was not a great work. Perhaps the content was a bit depressing or the plot/situations weren’t sufficiently captivating as to make one invested in the story. It felt like it would end at various moments – not a good sign.
I would recommend this to people interested in the topic but less so to a general reader.


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