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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on July 6, 2000
What is so funny about a man who doesn't want to, or can't, grow up? When I started reading this book I liked the dry British humor and the self-deprecation of the main character, but towards the end I wondered if the author really had any distance from his character.
The turning point for me was the dinner party that he attended after resuming his relationship with his x-girlfriend. When she's sure he liked her friends, she directs him to look at their boring record collection and makes the point that hey, it's possible to be really nice and interesting and have a boring record collection (wow! really?). There's an earnest quality to the writing here that makes me suspect the author thinks this might be news to a lot of people reading the book. The worst part is that he might be right, and that's depressing.
I've always thought that an obsession with pop music was infantile, like someone who still favors food like pigs-in-blankets and popsickles. As you mature it's normal to appreciate more complex things, whether it's food, music, or relationships. The author presents this as something difficult for anyone to achieve. I just don't think it's that hard.
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on June 6, 2000
When the ads for the movie version of this book came out, I became curious and went to the bookstore to check out the book. Normally, I like reading British "modern" books because they have a different flow from the American norm. This book started off very promising, but left me with a bitter taste at the back of my throat. It seemed to end on a very depressed note. Maybe because I'm not a 30-something male I didn't understand it. But when my boyfriend went to see the movie (the same night that I finished the book), he agreed with my reaction.
Nick Hornby wrote this book in first person, but I absolutely could not relate to it. Rob seemed very flat and uninteresting, and his friends were quite stereotypical (the nervous, shy one and the big, seemingly stupid one). I vowed never again to read a Hornby book if it'd only leave me feeling cheated and depressed.
Then, I picked up "About a Boy" and it's the exact opposite. Very infectious and page-turning. I think the fact that Hornby writes in third person, and switches POV between two different characters, really helped add to the story. We see his characters from other peoples' point of view, not just their own selfish ones.
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on June 4, 1998
I don't understand what all the hype about this book was!!! Everyone was reading it wherever you went: tubes, trains, planes, buses, cafes, etc... and then people were recommending it!!! ARRGGHHH!! I don't think I've read anything quite as pessimistic, self-involved, hypocritical, depressing and crap - yes crap! - in my life!!! The beginning was great, you could relate to the character but then he just headed off to nowhere. Here was a 36 year old who had managed to achieve nothing with his life was busy feeling sorry for himself, moaning and doing what about it!?!? Absolutely nothing!!
What a sad, dpressing git!
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on February 11, 1999
It's easy to read and mildly amusing, but all these devotees of "High Fidelity" should read some classic literature before they start gushing about its deep insight into the male psyche. At least, I was bored by yet another first person pathetic male rant of a book (reminded me of "Independence Day"). I used to think that baby boomers were far and away the most self-obsessed, but in this book X'ers are giving them a run for their money....
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on February 28, 2000
Even though I have written dozens of reviews, I have never disparaged a book before. Never. Until now. I read this pathetic piece of rubbish about a year ago and every time I pass it on the shelves I want to punch it. Fat lot of good that'd do. Maybe I'll just burn the copy I have. Not because it's so bad, but because Hornby is clearly a smart guy, can string words together, and yet concocted this god-awful tripe. Frustrating waste of talent.
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on September 2, 2001
I wish I hadn't seen all the Woody Allen movies and just read Dave Eggers, because then I might've liked this book. I found this book extremely pretentious and boring. The theme of losers content with being losers is in all of these "slacker contemporary novels," and it's getting so tiresome. If you're a loser, don't read this book, because reading a book about losers is a waste of time.
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on August 13, 2000
The first chapter gives it hope that dimishes to a yawn by the second chapter. If you like a million references to lame Top 5 Lists for even lamer subjects then at least wait to borrow a friend's copy.
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