12 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Hornby puts man back in the dark ages,
By A Customer
This review is from: High Fidelity (Paperback)
In the midst of all the media attention on Nick Hornby and his much praised latest novel "How To Be Good," an analysis of his debut "High Fidelity" is instructive here. Hornby's first-person narration details the trials and tribulations of thirty something Rob. Rob has been abandoned by his girlfriend and tries to find solace in his second-hand record shop and world of anoraks. Sadly, Rob defines his entire existence on his success with women, and his whinging, immature self-pity grates horribly. Hornby attempts to create a new man style character so beloved by trendy gender analysts. However, Rob's narcissism merely reinforces the stereotype of the pathetic man who is unsure of his identity and moulds himself at the behest of others. If this novel had been written by a woman with a female character it would have been (rightly) attacked for its subservience to the opposite sex. Instead, Hornby is praised for his insight and understanding of the male condition. Clearly, this is Rob's inability to exist without a girlfriend. Very profound and liberating. Men do not need this whining plea to be loved and understood, both men and woman are quite capable of independence and do not evaluate their life by their success in relationships.