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High Fidelity Paperback – 12 May 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 190 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (12 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241950260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241950265
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"As funny, compulsive and contemporary a first novel as you could wish for." GQ

"One of the top ten books of the year." Entertainment Weekly

"It is rare that a book so hilarious is also so sharp about sex and manliness, memory and music." The New Yorker

"Mr. Hornby captures the loneliness and childishness of adult life with such precision and wit that you'll find yourself nodding and smiling. High Fidelity fills you with the same sensation that you get from hearing a debut record album that has more charm and verve and depth than anything you can recall." The New York Times Book Review

"Hornby's seamless prose and offhand humor make for one hilarious set piece after another, as suffering, self-centered Rob ruminates on women, sex, and Abbey Road. But then he's forced to consider loneliness, fitting-in, death, and failure and that is what lingers." Spin

"Keep this book away from your girlfriend it contains too many of your secrets to let it fall into the wrong hands." Details
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Someone else mentioned that the first 32 pages alone were worth the price of the book -- and that reviewer is correct! This novel starts off beautifully: the tone of the narrator is wounded, possibly because he's reeling and in shock from the recent departure of his girlfriend, Laura. What we have is the narrator trying to come to grips with the situation, tabulate how truly hurt he is, weighing this "dumping" to former dumpings by past girlfriends, starting from the first girl he ever kissed.

I just love the tone; the guy is really hurting (and we've all been there). It's this tone I think that gives such clarity to his confessional. Anyway, following this "resume of relationship trauma," we follow as the narrator goes on to deal with his life and disappointments. As a record shop owner, he's considered an "underachiever," a loser by some. His ex is a lawyer, hence the dilemma. (The double standard is that a man can be a lawyer and have a girlfriend with a simple job and everything's fine; BUT if the woman partner is the lawyer -- then HE should at least be equally as "successful"?! Well, this smacks of reality. In the eyes of society, he needs to "grow up." Many of us reading it will feel differently, perhaps.) This book is really an accurate portrayal of the male psyche, and it delves into many of the anxieties and fears that men suffer. But Hornby knows how to mix humor with the moments of soul-searching, so it doesn't become a drag. In the end, this book is really a great romantic comedy. Certainly, one of the most honest, insightful, and funniest accounts of guy/gal relationships I've come across since reading The Losers Club by Richard Perez. Definitely don't hesitate to pick up a copy!
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By A Customer on 6 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I started to read this book with a little scepticism, thinking that it was just going to drone on and on, but after the first couple of pages I was hooked. It tells the story of Rob, whose latest girlfriend has just left him and he is trying to figure out just where he's going wrong, as she's only the last in a fairly long line-up of relationship failures. The story is told by Rob himself and (being a woman myself) he obviously does so from a man's point of view. If ever I thought I'd never be able to understand men, this book brings me a lot closer to achieving that objective! The narrative often had me laughing out loud, recognising the (funny and often childish) traits so puzzlingly obvious in many of my male friends and partners! Having a knowledge of music and artistes greatly enhances enjoyment of this book, as the mention of forgotten favourites whisks you back in time, just as it does to Rob when he hears them. A brilliant read! Men, I understand you a little better, thanks to 'High Fidelity'!
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Format: Paperback
High Fidelity shows the reader as much about the male perspective as Briget Jones did for the female. This is not to say that there are men who are exactly like Rob in the novel, but there are a great many who obviously share at least one of his characteristics.
The title in itself tells the reader what to expect from the novel. 'Hi fidelity' - a term used in music and also as a way to indicate his 'fidelity' to Laura and how, even when the possibility of a continuing relationship looks dim, they will always come back to each other.
Described like this 'High Fidelity' may seem an impenetrable mish-mash of social/gender/romantic commentary, but the dry wit and the 'reality' of the characters - especially Barry and Dick - make this book laugh out loud funny and perhaps at some stages tears rolling down cheeks funny. The character of Rob is sometimes too realistic. More than once a burning desire is felt to pick him up by the scruff of his leather jacket and try to remove by force the immense chip on his shoulder. But this only serves to show how good Hornby is at presenting his characters. Just as you want to shout at Bridget Jones, so you want to shout at Rob Flemming, and tell him exactly what your all-time top-5 novels are. This one would certainly be up there with the greats.
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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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