by Nick Hornby
"Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films (Reservoir Dogs . . .); top five Elvis Costello songs ("Alison" . . .); top five episodes of Cheers (the one where Woody sang his stupid song to Kelly . . .). Rob tries dating a singer whose rendition of "Baby, I Love Your Way" makes him cry. But maybe it's just that he's always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think (awful as it sounds) that life as an episode of thirtysomething, with all the kids and marriages and barbecues and k.d. lang CDs that this implies, might not be so bad." (From the back cover of the Riverhead Books edition.)
High Fidelity has been praised all over blogdom and with good reason. It is just plain good entertainment. It is chick-lit from a guy's perspective. It's funny and emotional and gives us women some insight into just how a guy's mind works. Or might work, anyway. And, yes, they think about sex all the time. Mystery solved! :-) As I began reading, I was a little concerned that it would be the central theme of the story, but while it is nearly always present on the surface, Hornby handles it in a manner that is not at all off-putting.
If you haven't tried any of Nick Hornby's fiction yet, this is an excellent place to begin. I'll let you know about the rest of it as I get there, because I do plan to get there.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!