How To Be Good by Nick Hornby

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Synopsis

Katie Carr is a good person. She recycles. She's against racism. She's a good doctor, a good mom, a good wife...well, maybe not that last one, considering she's having an affair and has just requested a divorce via cell phone. But who could blame her? For years her husband's been selfish, sarcastic, and underemployed, writing the "Angriest Man in Holloway" column for their local paper.

But now David's changed. He's become a good person, too—really good. He's found a spiritual leader. He has become kind, soft-spoken, and earnest. He's even got a homeless kid set up in the spare room. Katie isn't sure if this is a deeply-felt conversion, a brain tumor—or David's most brilliantly vicious manipulation yet. Because she's finding it more and more difficult to live with David—and with herself.


 

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 April 30, 2002 by Riverhead. 324 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How To Be Good

The Guardian

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Desperately Katie thinks of some children at her daughter's school who live in a council flat.

Aug 03 2002 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

The Guardian

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Tone is, as it were, what Katie thinks about what she is thinking, what she says about what she is saying.

Aug 17 2002 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

The Guardian

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It has been a long time since novels were supposed to be morally improving.

Aug 10 2002 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

The Guardian

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In a rather old-fashioned way, Hornby's narrator seems to be female so that she can be some representative of goodness - although compromised, muddled, desperate.

Jul 27 2002 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

The Guardian

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While the novel hops from one farcical set piece to another - David and GoodNews hosting a cringingly embarrassing neighbourhood party, Katie grimacing through a church service in which a middle-aged vicar raps her sermon - its author is dashing round the back, frantically stopping up the exit ro...

May 26 2001 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

The Guardian

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The homelessness project fizzles out before it has really got started, David's faith in GoodNews wanes, and when Katie's self-examination threatens to be something darker, more destructive in the manner of, say, Hanif Kureishi's Intimacy, Hornby pulls the plug on seriousness and deflates her des...

May 27 2001 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

Publishers Weekly

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Audio Reviews reflect PW+'s assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.FICTIONHOW TO BE GOODNick Hornby, read by Frances Barber.

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Publishers Weekly

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Hornby relies less than usual upon pop references—which would be inappropriate for Katie's character anyway, although Homer Simpson is invoked a few times—but he has created, without them, a very funny agon of liberalism.

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Entertainment Weekly

''I just didn't want that voice, that tone, that permanent scowl.'' The book is a record of such thoughts, but Katie's every self-reflection is a measure of her life against the standards of literature and media: ''The difficulties I was prepared to tolerate in the early years of my marriage were...

Aug 09 2001 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

Gather Books

He tracks Koko down to get it back and after hearing about what he's doing, Koko decides that she'll try to be a good person.

Aug 10 2010 | Read Full Review of How To Be Good

New York Magazine

I loved the fact that by the close of Hornby's sly novel, the search for morality and meaning has moved from religion to art -- from the Good Book to, thankfully, good books, which is what Katie's indulging in again at the end of this good book.

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Michael Manley 20 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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