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A Long Way Down
 
 

A Long Way Down [Kindle Edition]

Nick Hornby
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"This is a brave and absorbing book. It's a thrill to watch a writer as talented as Hornby take on the grimmest of subjects without flinching."
-- "Publishers Weekly"

Product Description

A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby's hilarious bestseller about strangers and secrets



'Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?'



For disgraced TV presenter Martin Sharp the answer's pretty simple: he has, in his own words, 'pissed his life away'. And on New Year's Eve he's going to end it all . . . but not, as it happens, alone. Because first single-mum Maureen, then eighteen-year-old Jess and lastly American rock-god JJ turn up and crash Martin's private party. They've stolen his idea - but brought their own reasons.



Yet it's hard to jump when you've got an audience queuing impatiently behind you. A few heated words and some slices if cold pizza later and these four strangers are suddenly allies. But is their unlikely friendship a good enough reason to carry on living?



Shortlisted for the 2005 Whitbread Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, A Long Way Down is a darkly hilarious and moving novel by bestselling author Nick Hornby. If you like Jonathan Coe, David Sedaris and David Nicholls, you will love this book.



'A page-turning plot and rich, funny characters with several big laughs on every page. . . Hornby's best yet' Literary Review



'Hornby's best novel to date, impossible to put down. . . how can an examination of four people's anguish be so enthralling?' Ruth Rendell, Guardian



'Masterful. . . some of the finest writing, and some of the most outstanding characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading' Johnny Depp



Nick Hornby has captivated readers and achieved widespread critical acclaim for his comic, well-observed novels About a Boy, How to be Good, Juliet, Naked, Slam and High Fidelity. His three works of non-fiction, 31 Songs (shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Fever Pitch (winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award) and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree are also available from Penguin.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 730 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B002A3281E
  • Publisher: Penguin; Film Tie-In edition (5 May 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI97K2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.



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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Sam Holliday VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Nick Hornby can rightfully claim to be the king of modern day intelligent 'lad-lit' and he deserves immense credit for getting many 30something males reading again.
His first three major works - two superb novels About A Boy and High Fidelity plus Fever Pitch, his touchingly honest account of the male passion for football - put him into a league of his own and made subsequent books must-buys.
To be honest, however, his last two novels (including this on) have been let downs.
This one has an excellent premise - it is about four people who are about to commit suicide at the same time at a well -known 'suicide spot' deciding against it and forming an unlikely bond. The problem is that the unlikely bond is simply too unlikely because the four people are just so different that I doubt they could convince a child to eat sweets let alone stop each other killing themselves!
Told in turn by the four very different characters, the story has a nice pace and is very readable but it simply lacks credibility. Worst of all is the creation of a screwed up teenager - Jess - who is simply so unlikable and horrible there won't be anybody reading this who wouldn't have wished she had indeed jumped in chapter one. That the three relatively sane and intelligent people around here would have befriended her and ignored her OTT exploits is one of those unlikely premises on which this book is based and I am afraid that by the end of the book I felt a little bit cheated that a potentially fascinating plot had simply failed to deliver or offer nearly enough of Hornby's usually spot-on insights into the psyche.
Nick Hornby remains an important writer and a very good wordsmith and ideas man but he needs another 'great' book I think. And this isn't it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but... 11 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback
It is perhaps no surprise that this book has garnered such diverse scorings on Amazon and similar sites. Those who give it a low score tend to attribute this to the fact that thay cannot "identify with" most or all of the characters, and those who praise it seem to focus on Hornby's ability to portray different character viewpoints and the cleverness of the conceit.

Neither of these viewpoints is wrong. If you read a book hoping to identify and sympathise with a character, then you are bound to feel alienated from at least three of the protagonists - it's more than possible that you will not identify with any of them.

On the other hand, if you are looking for literery conceipt and the ability to switch between viewpoints, you will find it here in abundance. Pay your money and take your choice.

Trying to steer between the two stools is difficult. The multi-person narrative is a device that allows the author to flash a few of his skills, but ultimately is does make it difficult to care about any of the main protagonists in particular. Given that the central plot drive is "will they or will they not sort their lives out?" this is a serious flaw, but not fatal, as the characters and their voices are at least believable. I am also heartened that Hornby didn't try and create some unbelievably sugary ending that tied everyone's lives up in a happy ending that so rarely occurs, and that I still feel that each of the characters has a life oustide of the book that I wish to explore in more detail.

To me it's a clever little tale that never quite pays off, but which is at least not predictable and does remain in the memory
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Thought provoking novel about four strangers who find themselves on the roof of a block of flats on New Years Eve. Rather than jumping from this notorious suicide spot, they all come down and form a sort of informal self-help group as they try to rebuild their lives. The four - a disgraced TV presenter, tragically sad middle-aged single mother who has devoted her life to her disabled son, failed rock star and fowl-mouthed teen - have little in common but form an unspoken bond.

Hornby's novel is excellent in that it is moving at times and offers some hope without lapsing into sentimentality - everything is not resolved at the end. Bringing up plenty of other thought provoking issues as it proceeds, it is a real page-turner. The flow is aided by its format with each of the four telling the story in turn for a few pages at a time. Very effective as is the whole story. A superb novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Let Down 14 July 2005
Format:Hardcover
Calling this book a let down is probably a little unfair. Indeed had it been written by someone else, I'd probably have given it 4 stars but you see when standards are as high as Hornby has set in the past, this just does not live upto them. If High Fidelity is worth 5 stars (and it is), then About A Boy which is not quite as good must only be worth four and as this is not quite as good as About A Boy........
Still, not to do it down, like all of his books, the characters are well developed and you feel some affection for all of them (even the most ghastly of the main characters). As other reviewers will have said, the book is about four people who all meet up at a suicide hotspot and end up forming a group to look out for each other. The neat trick of the book is that it is writted by each of the four characters changing throughout, though the story still reads sequentially (so one person might write about an action they are taking, another will write about the consequences). It's a novel idea and I have to say works extremely well.
Having never been suicidal I can't vouch for the authenticity of the emotions the characters are feeling, though they are very believable. I'd recommend this book certainly to Hornby fans, but if you have not read any of his books, I'd start with High Fidelity before this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't wow me.
I could not really connect with any of the characters, and I did not care for this book. It was easy to read, but it did not wow me in any way.
Published 16 days ago by Jennifer
2.0 out of 5 stars the chartaters are too extreme, I wanted to know ...
the chartaters are too extreme, I wanted to know more about the chaps, the girls are poorly represented, I gave up.
Published 1 month ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, shocking & hilarious book - it's brilliant.
I thought this book was great. It's heart-warming, shocking in parts and very, very funny. I decided to read this before watching the film and I'm glad I did, as the writing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Molly
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Bit far fetched at times but easy summer reading.
Published 2 months ago by Jk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 2 months ago by Helen RobInon
4.0 out of 5 stars Saw the film, read the book
Looked at buying this in the bookshops and thought it quite a depressing concept. After watching the film decided to read it. Not a bad read, differs slightly from the film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Tracy A. Joseph
2.0 out of 5 stars Muddled and annoying
I felt this book was trying to be more than it is, whilst Nick Hornby has written some good books, this is not his finest work.
Published 3 months ago by Arjun Malhotra
2.0 out of 5 stars I am a fan of early Nick Hornby but afraid ...
I am a fan of early Nick Hornby but afraid this didn't work for me.
Characters are a bit shallow and acted out of what character they had.
Published 3 months ago by andrew64
3.0 out of 5 stars Accident
Unfortunately, i accidently ordered this book in German, so i was not able to read it. I have since bought it in english
Published 4 months ago by Hamish Hay
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but ...
actually wavering around 3and a half stars but can't stretch to 4. And whenever I read a Nick Hornby these days I only think it's a notch or three below High Fidelity.
Published 5 months ago by John Callen
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