High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

79%

13 Critic Reviews

Fast, fun, and remarkably deft: a sharp-edged portrait that manages at once to be vicious, generous, and utterly good-natured.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, a wise and hilarious novel about love, heartbreak, and rock and roll.

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; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers.

Rob tries dating a singer, 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 that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad. 


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Nick Hornby

See more books from this Author
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 August 1, 1996 by Riverhead Books. 260 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for High Fidelity
All: 13 | Positive: 13 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2015

Fast, fun, and remarkably deft: a sharp-edged portrait that manages at once to be vicious, generous, and utterly good-natured.

Read Full Review of High Fidelity | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Dec 29 2015

Hornby has earned his own place on the London bestseller lists, and this on-the-edge tale of musical addiction just may climb the charts here.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by EW STAFF on Jul 12 1996

High Fidelity, a candid and comic first novel, bumps along like a diamond needle over the flawed vinyl album of Rob, a compulsive list maker and owner of a record shop in North London.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by JOSEPH OLSHAN on Sep 08 1995

Nick Hornby, a well-known and respected London journalist, has written a candid and comic first novel that bumps along like a diamond needle over the flawed vinyl album of Rob’s life. The price of purchase includes wry observations about contemporary life as a single man, as well as some haunting romantic blues.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Joanne Wilkinson on Sep 01 1995

...it’s his literate, painfully honest riffs on romantic humiliation and heartbreak that make the book so special. A rare, touching glimpse of the masculine view of affairs of the heart.

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Tamsin Jones on May 01 2005

This book is an interesting contradiction. The story is mundane and quite boring at times. But the writing and the way the characters are brought to life are compelling.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by Jen on Mar 01 2010

There's a lot that goes on in the novel, as well as a good amount of past incidents to help us understand Rob and Laura's relationship. But the plot is pretty simple: we're watching Rob grow up...So I'll end my review with this: The book had good timing and I needed to read it at this time in my life.

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Stuff

Above average
Reviewed by Karen Tay on Aug 23 2012

But for a book that is whatever the male equivalent is of chick lit (dick lit?), it's a heartfelt and layered read as well. There is minimal fluff around the main love story, and I like that the plot doesn't just stagnate at the "eternal adolescent" stage.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Aug 08 2015

High Fidelity wouldn't be as good if it outright analyzed or definedRob, but through the perceptive, wry and often judgmental narration, we discoverthe character ourselves. The humor is subtle and charming...What I like most about High Fidelity is that despite Rob's immaturity andflaws, Hornby creates a character you cannot help but like.

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Brothers Judd

Good
Reviewed by brothersjudd on Jul 27 2015

Rob Fleming, a 35 year old Londoner, is extremely average, but the story he has to tell is unusually witty & insightful, especially in his assessment of the mysterious relations between men and women...

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Sophisticated Dorkiness

Good
Reviewed by Kim on Feb 25 2009

Happily, I was equally as charmed with the book as I have always been with the movie and can enthusiastically recommend both...In some ways, it made me happy to read a book that takes adult relationships honestly...

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My Cup and Chaucer Blog

Above average
Reviewed by tonile.helena on Jun 11 2012

I’ll admit it to you – I’m angry at myself for waiting so long. Not only did I learn the value of a well-thought-out list and how to make the perfect mix tape, I also came to realise that it’s okay to be normal, painfully normal even, as long as you surround yourself with the people and things that bring you joy...

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The Story's Story

Above average
Reviewed by jakeseliger on Jun 16 2013

Rob’s voice and attitude carry the book, as does the writing, which is largely about nothing yet still moves rapidly from incident to incident...In my reading over the last few days, I’m struck by how much more pathetic Rob seems: as I said before, his problems are largely self-imposed, or imposed by his personality...

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Reader Rating for High Fidelity
81%

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Katrina Bernardo

Katrina Bernardo 5 Sep 2013

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