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A Long Way Down Audio Download – Unabridged

3.3 out of 5 stars 194 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 14 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Limited
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Feb. 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HVSABFI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The main problem I have with this book is the the ridiculous premise. While it seems like a good idea to start with it quickly begins to look very unlikely. The story basically revolves around four people who all intend to commit suicide at the same spot on New Year's Eve. They manage to stop each other from going through with it and then form a sort of support group for each other. None of it rings true. They are just too different from each other for the bond to be in anyway believable. All of the characters are whiney and self centred with the possible exception of Maureen who does at least take care of her disabled son. It's hard to care for these people and I feel that many reading the book will have even deeper problems than these characters. My dog has more to worry about than most of them. The ending has to be the worst I've ever read. It's as if he just went "that's it, I've had enough". Wish I had done that twenty pages in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That's exactly it, I just didn't get the point. I took weeks reading it, because I kept getting bored after two pages as nothing of note happens. I didn't like the characters; however it did make me guffaw in places, particularly the odd witty, and rather cutting one liner's. The book is about four people who meet each other by chance at a common suicide spot, and then talk each other out of jumping to their doom. Then the book seems to just bumble along for about 250 pages, and I finished it thinking, "did anything happen?" It has actually left me feeling lethargic, I'm going off to write 250 pages (slowly) about why I feel lethargic, and endeavour to find a few laugh out loud one liners, throw them in, stir everything up and I will have a my very own version of this book, but with rubbish jokes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cards on the table 1): I'm a Hornby fan, going way back to the journlism before Fever Pitch. Notwithstanding his success in recent years I feel he's still underrated as a writer, unfairly grouped with mediocre talents from the same generation. He's possibly the only writer whose work I would buy on trust without reading a review. As was the case with 'A Long Way Down'. Live and learn though, because cards on the tale 2): this is a pretty poor book.

Where to begin ? I guess as a novel it simply doesn't convince. The opening scene feels like a device to bring four fairly uninteresting characters together so that we can observe their developing but deeply unlikely relationship. (In this it reminded me of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love, another book I cast aside with relief, whose balloon opening smacked of some kind of five finger exercise.). The book feels tired too - the characters themselves paper thin, the dialogue unconvincing, the set pieces both flat and desperate (the trip to Spain ? Do me a favour...), the plot development negligible, the once charming, now tiresomely predictable references to the Hornby musical yardstick against which all characters must be validated... The mechanics of using perspectives from all four characters just felt clumsy, robbed the book of forward momentum and made it hard to engage properly with any of them, but maybe it was easier to fill the pages that way - a supermarket trolley with four wonky wheels was the image that came to mind. Or a kind of Jacqueline Wilson for grownups, with its ishoo-driven plot and its shouty dialogues and its grimy backdrops. In passing, wheelchair users get frequent roll-on parts in her books too, but are rarely treated so dismissively or patronisingly as Hornby treats Matty (and indeed Maureen) here.
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
New Year's Eve. Four strangers converge on a high roof, the aim suicide. This is their story, they taking turns to narrate.

Most of us know little about depression and the various forms it can take. It is thus too easy to lose patience with those so afflicted - which I am afraid I did here with three of the characters. Young Jess is obnoxious. JJ and Martin wallow in self-pity - American JJ pining for his girlfriend and his former band; Martin, ex-Breakfast TV presenter, now a pariah after conviction for under-age sex.

Eclipsing everything is the plight of drained, fifty one year old Maureen - she paying a heavy price for the only sex in her life. It resulted in severely handicapped son Matty, at present nineteen. He requires 24/7 care and, despite all her attention, has never even been aware of her. Theirs is truly a heartrending tragedy, Maureen to linger in my mind long after the others are forgotten.

Surprisingly there is much humour, which helps to alleviate. Overall, though, many may find the novel too bleak - its characters only able to survive by clutching at straws.

The state of Matty prompts deep thought about what represents life and when best to call a halt. This is probably not what the book intended but, for me, has been the result.
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By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
We all have thought of suicide at some time in our lives. Few of us ever see it through. We wake up and smell the roses, so to speak. Life is worth living and all that, and in the end, what a mess to leave your family. Nick Hornby has written a sometimes comic side to this serious issue. He has done it well, but it does drag at times. Don't take this review too seriously, please, Mr. Hornby
Martin, Jess, JJ and Margaret, 3 of them Brits and one American all meet on this fateful night. The night they choose to end their life. New Years Eve, the night of new beginnings is the evening they chose. Each of them has a good reason, or at least they think it is at the time. Well thought out, well, no, but thought out anyway. Toppers House, the roof, a tall building, well known as the place for suicide. If you are going to end your life don't you want to do it where the "in" crowd goes for their suicides? Margaret, the lonely, middle-aged woman who has had sex only once in her life, and begat a son so disabled that he knows not who or what she is. Margaret takes a bus and then walks to Topper House after she sends her son to the nursing home for the evening. She observes, Martin over by the edge of the roof. Martin, the ever tanned, ex-morning TV star who has messed up his life royally. He had an affair with a 15 year old, served time, lost his marriage and his children, what is there to live for? Soon, into this mix comes Jesse. She, of the wise-cracking, young adult, filled with many alcoholic drinks looking for her lost love. The love that she dated once and slept with once, and who left her after that date. JJ opens the roof door bringing a pizza for an inhabitant of the building. He joins the group. He is an ex-rock star in a failed band, with a failed relationship.
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