Top Five Things I Loved About High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

February 2, 2015 Contemporary Fiction 28

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

I’ve been on a reading bender which is AWESOME because I was slogging through some slumpiness at the beginning of the year and I’m just beginning to feel like I’m getting my reading mojo back. In order to get that mojo back, I made a concerted effort to pick up books I was pretty sure I’d like. I needed to get back to my roots. And my roots? Well. Beneath this facade of well-adjusted adult who is totally functional an normal (STOP LAUGHING) lives an angsty teenager listening to late 90s grunge music. (In the dark. And probably crying.) This is why High Fidelity by Nick Hornby was the perfect choice for a slump busting read.


I can’t pin the teen angst on the music, I’m pretty sure that’s the fault of puberty, but the quote speaks to me!

Instead of doing a proper review for this one, I’m going to take a page out of Rob’s book and hit y’all with a Top Five list of stuff I dug in High Fidelity. It will be fun, dangit!

1. Britishness: Confession. I saw the movie version of High Fidelity ages before I read the book. I love John Cusack, what can I say? I was, therefore, rather surprised to find that this book is NOT set in Chicago, but in London. I love British things. I mean, I loved what they did with setting the movie in Chicago, but it was fun to go to London.

2. Top Five Lists: Yes, I just put “top five lists” on a top five list. It’s getting very meta up in here. Rob and his pals are constantly challenging each other to list their top five songs/albums related to any given topic. Really, y’all. You KNOW how much I love lists. A book with all sorts of lists? Yes, please!

3. The Art of the Mix Tape: Alright, the book totally dates itself with the making of cassette mix tapes, but I don’t care. My teenage self LOVED making mix tapes for people. LOVED. I’d try to find the more obscure tracks on albums from my favorite bands and create pretentious themes and cover art and everything. I wasn’t cool enough to have imports and b-sides and all that jazz, but I had aspirations. Weird, lame, 16 year old aspirations, but aspirations none the less.


4. Love/Hating Rob: The main character in this book, Rob, is reeling from a breakup with his live-in girlfriend Laura. I loved this guy. I hated this guy. I wanted to shake this guy and tell him he was 35 and not 16 and to stop being an immature prick. I wanted to hug him because he was hurting and didn’t know how to deal. It’s all very complex.

5. Getting In Touch With My Inner Teenager: A guy who is way too into his music who walks around bleeding heartbreak all over the place? My 16 year old self is doing a dance of joy and singing “Someone Finally Gets Me!” Not that I really had a whole lot of heartbreak going on at that age, mostly unrequited crushes, but still. FEELINGS.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Is there a book that speaks to your inner teenager? I want to hear about it! 

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28 Responses to “Top Five Things I Loved About High Fidelity by Nick Hornby”

  1. tanya (52 books or bust)

    I’m not a music person, but this book did speak to me. Love the quote at the top of your post. And I can relate to his obsession with music becuase it pretty much parallels my obsession with books.

    • Words For Worms

      I was SUPER into music for a few years, but I have paid absolutely no attention to it in like 10 years at least. I’m like a music time capsule. 1996-2001. That’s all I know!

  2. Just me, Vee

    Thanks for this post! I’m going to pull High Fidelity off my bookshelf and read it again. It’s been so long since I read it or saw the movie, that it will be like I’m reading it for the first time.

  3. Laura Frey

    This book is in my Top 5 Books of all time, probably. Helps that I read it as an angsty early-20s-something. Also helps that my name is Laura and I was going through a nasty break up with a guy named Rob, who was obsessed with music and refused to grow up also. A lot of love/hate for book-Rob here too.

    The only problem with this book is that all other Hornby books are kind of a let down, because they aren’t as good as this. Are you going to read the new one?

    • Words For Worms

      I haven’t read any other Hornby books but I’d like to… Not, of course, if they’re going to be a letdown. Boo on that. Funny story related to your Laura-Rob story. My friend’s grandpa used to sing K-K-K-Katie to me all the time (it’s a WWI era song, I think it’s a law that Grandpas know it.) One day I was thinking of dear departed Felix and I downloaded a copy of the song only to find that it was the love story of K-K-K-Katie, beautiful Katie and her love interest Jimmy. Hubs is named Jim. I call him Jimmy. I set the song as my alarm :).

  4. ThatAshGirl

    LOL I knew you’d enjoy this book. I loved both the book and movie equally for different reasons. And I totally agree with your list. Serious love for this book.

  5. Megan M.

    I’ve only seen the movie but – love/hate Rob! Yes! The first time I saw it and he listed why she left and then admitted they were all true? I almost turned the movie off.

  6. megan

    So funny you mention Nick Hornsby! I have been wanting to check him out for no other reason than my all time favorite author (Anne Tyler) LOVES his books. She is in her 70s. I mean – JUST when I think that woman can not get any more fantastic, she does.

  7. Annabel Smith

    I just loved this book when it first came out. I bought it as a gift for lots of my male friends too. Like, get your shit together, dudes, here’s a manual. Maybe a what not to do manual! I think of Hornby’s main character as a spiritual brother to my character Charlie from my novel Whiskey and Charlie. Both a little late bloomers in terms of waking up to what they ened to do in their personal relationships!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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