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174 Reviews
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant, thought-provoking Nick Hornby novel
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...
Published on 20 July 2006 by Greg Farefield-Rose

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent enough read - but I think he is better than this
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...
Published on 27 Jun 2005 by Sam Holliday


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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, 22 Jan 2013
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This review is from: A Long Way Down (Kindle Edition)
I had not read any of Mr Hornbys work before.I found the subject matter unusual and interesting. Well worth a read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: A Long Way Down (Kindle Edition)
There was nothing I liked about this book. I think the author was trying to make the book more "real" by making the characters flawed and not that likeable, but as the entire premise was a bit contrived and unbelievable he failed. I didn't really care what happened by the end of the book so I definitely wouldnt recommend it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable bargain book, 11 Jan 2013
By 
Gordon Rozario (South London Suburbia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Long Way Down (Kindle Edition)
Bought this as a new year special (99p) and found it "a good read". It has a light hearted style for a slightly morbid subject. Liked the characters and how their individual stories developed. Time spent reading Nick Hornby is never wasted. (ps I reserve 5 stars for something gob-smacking / amazing / life changing)
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Long Way Down, 6 Mar 2008
This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
I'm afraid I couldn't even get halfway through this book due to the ludicrous storyline and characterisation. Really liked About A Boy and High Fidelity, but this one should be avoided (as should How To Be Good)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Write by numbers, 16 April 2007
This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
My first Nick Hornby book and maybe my last.

The trouble was, it was all very unbelievable and the characters were predictable, banal and dull.

I'd really say don't bother buying this book, but if you ever see it in a second hand shop for a quid it's worth a shot.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and engaging book, 1 Nov 2007
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This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
I am not a Nick Hornby fan and found his other books only quite o.k., but this book is simply brilliant. The best book I have read in a long time. At the beginning it is quite funny and all the way it's very interesting, one cannot guess what might happening next.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, pretentious rubbish..., 23 Feb 2008
By 
Richard Holliday "Ricardo" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
Nick Hornby is essentially seems to be writing the same novel over and over, each one slightly worse than the last. The characters and their dialogue are completely contrived and unbelievable - at no point do you get any sense of why the characters are staying together or any sense of real unity. None of the characters are remotely likeable and you feel no real sympathy for them.

As with a lot of the current crop of wafer thin English literature, he writes with an arrogance and lack of perception that assumes what is normal to him, both in thought, word and deed will still be normal and pertinent to everyday people, whereas in truth he is probably now a millionaire with very little grasp on reality. Indeed, all his great reviews for this underdeveloped and disappointing novel are garnered from places like The Independent, Observer and Guardian - presumably written by similar, deluded, Latte drinking, Range-Rover-on-the-school-run, Islington living yuppies as the author. Therefore, his first person narrative works much better for the music obsessed geek and the arsehole media type but his attempts to write from the perspective of an 18-year-old and 51-year-old female are trite, contrived and borderline embarrassing. Case-in-point - 18 year olds do not use words like wally anymore and no one under the age of fifty uses the word blow to describe marijuana - nowadays blow equals cocaine. Surely some of his Islington media chums could've told him that?

Even the names are too cute for their own good. In this and his previously, slightly better, but still pretty poor novel `How To Be Good', the author uses names like JJ, DJ Goodnews and Nodog - which probably seem a bit edgy and out-there to him and indeed probably were when the author first realised he was clever enough to write books, but unfortunately that was in 1992 or something and now using names like that comes across a bit like your geography teacher trying to be cool.

The book is living proof that good ideas don't always make good novels, especially if they are good ideas for films. And all this from the man who wrote `High Fidelity'... Sad.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 18 April 2006
This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
I've generally enjoyed Nick Hornby's book (particularly High Fidelity and Fever Pitch) but this novel was a disappointment.

The premise is simple: four people, Martin (a disgraced TV presenter), Maureen (a rather drab middle aged woman caring for her seriously handicapped son), Jess (a rebellious and somewhat deranged teenage girl) and JJ (a failed rock star now working as a pizza delivery man) who meet one New Years Eve while attempting (or at least considering) suicide. The book explores that night and what happens next.

The book is written as four intertwined first person narratives with each character telling bits of the story. All the narratives are written in a light conversational style making the book an easy, undemanding read. However, for me it does not work. The fundamental problem is that Hornby is unable to give any of the characters a believable voice. The writing of the characters is too uniform, I often had to flick backwards to establish which character was meant to be writing the section, and he seems to have little real grasp of their motivation. This leads to weak and often not credible characterisation.
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5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to form, 9 May 2005
By 
Martin Lewis (London, England, Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Long Way Down (Hardcover)
A great book and a return to form, in my opinion. I loved High Fidelity and found it 'unputdownable', and I was the same with this book.
I found myself laughing at times where perhaps the "P.C. Brigade" wouldnt approve - great stuff!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern, 14 May 2006
By 
B. Dixon (Boston) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Long Way Down (Paperback)
Hornby's latest book is the telling of several people's lives before and after they attempt to commit suicide. Hornby writes with accuracy, emotion and feeling as he evaluates thoughts, actions and the way people justify killing themselves. I am sure this will be regarded as a classic in many years to come.
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A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (Paperback - 6 Feb 2014)
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