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High Fidelity Paperback – 5 May 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141026642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141026640
  • ASIN: 0140293469
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Hornby was born in 1957, and is the author of six novels, High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down (shortlisted for the Whitbread Award)Slam and Juliet, Naked. He is also the author of Fever Pitch, a book on his life as a devoted supporter of Arsenal Football Club, and has edited the collection of short stories Speaking with the Angel. He has written a book about his favourite songs, 31 Songs, and his reading habits,The Complete Polysyllabic Spree. In 2009 he wrote the screenplay for the film An Education. Nick Hornby lives and works in Highbury, north London.

Product Description

Amazon Review

It has been said often enough that baby boomers are a television generation, but High Fidelity reminds that in a way they are the record-album generation as well. This hilarious novel is obsessed with music; Hornby's narrator is an early thirtysomething bloke who runs a London record store. He sells albums recorded the old-fashioned way--on vinyl--and is having a tough time making other transitions as well, specifically to adulthood. The book is in one sense a love story, both sweet and interesting; most entertaining, though, are the hilarious arguments over arcane matters of pop music. --Christine Buttery


If this book was a record, we would be calling it an instant classic. Because that is what it is (Guardian )

It will give enormous pleasure at the same time as expanding, in a small but worthwhile way, the range of English literature (Independent on Sunday )

Leaves you believing not only in the redemptive power of music but above all the redemptive power of love. Funny and wise, sweet and true (Independent )

A triumphant first novel. True to life, very funny, and moving (Financial Times )

Very funny and extremely cleverly observed (Mail on Sunday )

Funny and compulsive (GQ ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By oh_pete on 23 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
Nick Hornby's HIGH FIDELITY opens with a list that most teenage males and men have made variations of in their own lives: their five most memorable break-ups. Before we even know where this list is going to lead, we know protagonist Rob Fleming is going to be a guy after many of our hearts. He is the kind of guy that pays extremely close attention to his relationships with women, is always looking for that "perfect" girlfriend (in the sense of perfect for him), and if pressed just a bit, could readily produce the names of every girl that ever deigned to kiss him romantically on the lips. Not that this is a good thing, but it's just something we can do, kind of like being able to rattle off the last ten NCAA basketball champions. Self-obsessed? Sure. Identifiable? Like the sun in the sky.
Rob is a 35-year-old North London record shop owner who never recovered from the toughest of those five break-ups--the one that stunned him right out of college. He knows his chosen musical genres obsessively, but no longer quite as obsessively as his employees, the overbearing Barry and timid Dick. The shop and his music, however, seem to make up Rob's whole world, and he is not comfortable outside them. Nor is he happy with himself outside of a monogamous relationship. So why (consciously or not) does he always sabotage them? Following Rob as he seeks the answer to this question can be hilarious and sad and rejuvenating.
Hornby's prose is consistently keen of wit and often raucously funny. Because there's just so much literature out there I want to experience, I almost never re-read books. I read HIGH FIDELITY twice in six weeks--Nick Hornby taught me how silly I was.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. Mclauchlan on 21 July 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is so 'human', not muddled by all the pretensions of the commercial world. This book tells a story of, well, to be honest a rather sad man, it explains WHY men, (and women), can be the way they are. Be that neurotic and anally retentive about their record collection or something more serious. (IS there anything more serious??? The character in this book wouldn't think so!) High Fidelity is full of comedy, although occasionally a little dark, and is a fantastic read all the way! I finished this book begrudgingly, turning the last few pages slower and taking every word in like a slow deep breath - when you don't want it to end it must be a good! Highly recommended to those ladies who don't understand their boyfriends and would like to, and recommended to absolutely anybody else who like s a bit of truth in their books!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. M. York VINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was quite uncertain when I was deciding whether to buy High Fidelity, given that from the other reviews that I had read it was a book that had been either loved or hated by the reviewers. I took a chance as I loved the film, but usually the book holds much more and goes much deeper. I am so glad I took a chance with this book.
The first statement that I have to make is that it usually takes me a while to read through my books, I am just a naturally slow reader. Though with High Fidelity I read it from cover to cover in the space of a week. In terms of sheer enjoyment and accessibility, I would put High Fidelity as one of my top five books!
The story focuses around a thirty-something Londoner who I find to represent the male stereotype of the grown man living as a child - somebody who has yet to get over the emotional predilections of a sixteen-year-old. Rob is a character who has devoted his life to the study/criticism of music; perhaps accidentally he had grown to be somebody whose life has run into a dead-end. The story begins as he is dumped by his girlfriend, throwing an already bleak life into further disarray.
Throughout reading this I have found several sections where I have been able to relate to his paranoia and worries, things that all seem to have some bearing, however limited, on the modern man. Overall, this is a story that deals with the worries that many people can relate to - rejection, loss of motivation, isolation, as well as questioning what it is that really attracts us to each other. All of which is told through a highly humorous and casual medium which makes what could be construed as a heavy subject quite simple and easy to relate to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Gardner VINE VOICE on 28 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
It's kind of comforting to have a book that men can call their own, and whilst this fairly, short, very accessible novel by Nick Hornby isn't going to win a sweeping amount of awards for being high literature, it is a book packed with very astute and clever insights and characterisations. Hornby's novel centres aroung protagonist Rob Fleming who has just broken up with long term girlfriend Laura, and how he is (not) dealing with it. It is a novel all about liminality, a novel of transition. An adult novel (finally) about growing up without being patronising or condescending with moments and characters that make you jump up suddenly and go 'I know someone like that!' or 'That's exactly right'. This is Hornby's gift, he textualises the most ambivalent emotional states of being and writes them down in easily identifiable form. Rob is both endearing and annoying. He can be sweet and also an utter a***hole. It is also a novel about music and its changing states. Rob's job as the store owner of Championship Vinyl provides a metaphorical backdrop for his emotional life - his inability to move with the times in terms of musical production parallels his inability to 'allow for things to happen' to himself. Supported by a wealth of interesting accomplices (in particular his co-workers: the wonderully obnoxious Barry and the beautifuly crafted, incredibly shy and nervous Dick) Rob provides a fundamentally flawed everyman to express male neuroses and anxieties that Hornby explores. No it is not a book for everyone, and I know several female friends of mine who found it rather misogynistic, but my defence of it would be that finally an author has created a novel using a that has been monopolised by female authors for decades, even centuries. With so many books out their detailing the female inner monologue and their side of emotional issues, it is rather refreshing to find a book describing the male side of that coin.
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