Top positive review
A smooth addictive read
on 22 January 2008
What an adorable, fast flowing, interesting and perceptive book this is. More importantly,how does Nick Hornby make an apparently mundane subject so funny, interesting and endearing? I can see why people rave about this author.
The novel is a narration following the lives of two explicitly different characters and their unlikely convergence. We learn of Will Freeman, the thirty something epitome of self sufficiency and selfish indulgence. Then, of twelve year old Marcus, who is the human equivalent of a square peg in a round hole. The "square peg" being Marcus and the "round hole" being the world.
The way in which Hornby describes these different lives with such realism and comedy makes this book simply unputdownable. We experience the unlikely yet somehow believable relationship the two characters establish, and I personally just loved the humour and incredulity with which Will Freeman observes this unexpected development.
I enjoyed how the characters altered and changed. The adjustment and amendments in their ideas not to mention the downright flipside up backtofront viewpoint changes that were so very believable and charming, yet not done esoterically or over the pages of a 600 page tome. Hornby proves that if you stick with what is real to people, even to what is obvious you can create rich characters quickly. It makes me wonder if JD Salinger was one of his influences, it would make sense if you have read "Catcher in the Rye"
I did love this book, and in many ways I wish I hadn't watched the film first as it took away from the freshness of some of the more brilliant moments of comedy. I wasn't sure about Hornby after I read "A Long Way Down", but I stand corrected, and am well and truly sold. My biggest disappointment was when the book ended. Highly recommended.