A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

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Synopsis

New York Times-bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line. A Long Way Down is now a major motion picture from Magnolia Pictures starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots.

Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.

Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.
 

About Nick Hornby

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The New Yorker" calls bestselling author Nick Hornby the maestro of the male confessional. His bestselling adult novels include" High Fidelity" and "About a Boy," both of which were made into highly successful movies. He lives in the UK.
 
Published May 2, 2006 by Riverhead Books. 360 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Travel, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Long Way Down

Kirkus Reviews

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Needless to say, all have good reasons to off themselves (well, except JJ, which is why he pretends for a time to have a fatal illness), but coming together in such a random fashion forms a strange bond, and, instead of jumping off, they become friends, sort of.

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The New York Times

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(Rob's memorable discourse on the significance of how you order your record collection, for instance, directly echoed a piece of journalism Hornby had written on the same subject several years earlier, and it is not a great leap from Rob's endless list-making to ''Songbook,'' Hornby's 2003 volume...

Jun 12 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

The New York Times

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In Nick Hornby's new novel, four characters meet on a rooftop on New Year's Eve, intending to jump.

Jun 12 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

The Guardian

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Jess's riffs are sometimes erratic, to suit her misfiring personality: 'It was like Cindy lived in a modern place like Tokyo and we lived in an old place like Rome or somewhere.

Apr 30 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

The Guardian

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The "rubbish-strewn teenage bedroom of Jess's mind" can be laugh-out-loud funny, and both Martin's celebrity-fluffed ego and Jess's disinhibted obscenities make for addictively amusing car-crash reading as the gang agrees to a trial survival period before a Valentine's day crisis meeting.

Apr 29 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

The Guardian

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Jess's riffs are sometimes erratic, to suit her misfiring personality: 'It was like Cindy lived in a modern place like Tokyo and we lived in an old place like Rome or somewhere.

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

The Guardian

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A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby 288pp, Viking, £17.99 Nick Hornby has grown up in public.

Apr 30 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Publishers Weekly

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And if the characters occasionally seem a little more eloquent or self-aware than they have a right to be, or if the novel turns just the tiniest bit sentimental at the end, all you can really fault Hornby for is an act of excessive generosity, an authorial embrace bestowed upon some characters w...

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BC Books

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There are a lot of ways to commit suicide: jumping off a bridge, ODing on drugs, pissing off Oprah...Author Nick Hornby and I contemplate suicide.

Jul 25 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

BC Books

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Some writers suffer from what I call the Stephen King Syndrome: They develop a great concept for a book but then, perhaps too proud of their clever plot device, don’t follow through and provide a complete book.

Dec 30 2006 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

BC Books

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A few examples: Maureen is crying at one point in the book and she thinks: "I was crying because all I wanted in the world, the only thing that would make me want to live, was for Matty (her incapacitated son) to die.

Jul 27 2006 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

BC Books

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Jul 25 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Book Reporter

Wending their way through a shared vacation, an intervention in the basement of a Starbucks, a real suicide, and an almost-fistfight egged on by an intellectual homeless person, each character's predominant traits (Jess - outrageousness, Martin - self-serving and self-loathing, JJ - wistfulness, ...

Nov 01 2014 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

AV Club

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For his latest novel, Nick Hornby has apparently taken his inspiration not from his record collection or his favorite soccer team, but from...

Jun 07 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

AV Club

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Even though all four actors frequently share the frame, they don’t seem to be in the same movie: Brosnan and Poots clearly believe A Long Way Down is a comedy (though Brosnan aims for light drollery and Poots for broad, wacky high jinks), while Collette and Paul are convinced it’s a deadly seriou...

Jul 10 2014 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

AV Club

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For his latest novel, Nick Hornby has apparently taken his inspiration not from his record collection or his favorite soccer team, but from reality TV.

Jun 07 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Entertainment Weekly

Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down is a pleasant and ingratiating novel, and .

Jun 15 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Pajiba

Again, taking my above mentioned predispositions to heart, I have to say this book rang about as sadly, pathetically, and shockingly true as anything else I've ever read on the subject.

Mar 20 2009 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Bookmarks Magazine

San Antonio Exp-News 3.5 of 5 Stars"… in pulling his characters back from the brink, Hornby manages to keep a delicious bite throughout the novel, and even manages some level of suspense as to whether the characters will all make it alive ..."

Jan 02 2008 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Time Out New York

Listening to Nick Hornby and Jack Thorne talk afterwards was very interesting- hearing how a movie came to be always adds a certain understanding which wouldn’t have been there otherwise, unfortunately it still didn’t help me buy into the movie itself.

Oct 04 2014 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

New York Magazine

When JJ declares that “I had wanted to kill myself, not because I hated living, but because I loved it,” they might be moved as if by a stirring rock ballad.

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Opinions of a Wolf Blog

Getting rid of that weight is a cleansing, uplifting process, and that’s how it feels to read this book.

May 23 2012 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Reviews of Books

The Guardian review by Joanna Briscoe.

Oct 04 2014 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Lit Witch

And nearly every single time, the coroner says the same thing: “He took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.” And then you read the story about the poor bastard: His wife was sleeping with his best friend, he’d lost his job, his daughter had been killed in a road accident som...

Nov 23 2011 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

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Oct 04 2014 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

http://filmschoolrejects.com

While it is my least favorite of Hornby’s works, it will likely prove quite adaptable to the big screen (after all, Hornby’s novels have spawned no less than four big screen takes, all of which have been stellar).

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of A Long Way Down

Reader Rating for A Long Way Down
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