A Long Way Down

I’ve heard a lot about Nick Hornby, but this is the first book of his that I’ve read. At first, I really liked the style, and the plot was what drew me to it originally. It’s about our people who meet on the top of a high rise in London on New Years Eve, all planning to jump. The concept is very interesting. I loved the first few chapters. The characters are interesting - you sort of love to hate them. In a lot of ways you understand why they’d want to jump (because they’re either pathetic or annoying). But the whole middle of the book really dragged. I just didn’t understand why it kept saying the same things over and over. It picked up again in the end, though, and I’d say it was generally worth reading, if only for the style.

Quotes, as per usual:

“Surely the coroner’s report should read, ‘He took his own life after sober and careful contemplation of the fucking shambles it had become.’”

“The truth was that I didn’t feel like a dying man; I felt like a man who every now and again wanted to die, and there’s a difference.”

“We started with Virginia Woolf, and I only read like two pages of this book about a lighthouse, but I read enough to know why she killed herself: She killed herself because she couldn’t make herself understood. You only have to read one sentence to see that.”

“You know that things aren’t going well for you when you can’t even tell people the simplest fact about your life, just because they’ll presume you’re asking them to feel sorry for you. I suppose it’s why you feel so far away from everyone, in the end; anything you can think of to tell them just ends up making them feel terrible.”

“I wanted to kill myself, not because I hated living, but because I loved it. And the truth of the matter is, I think, that a lot of people who think about killing themselves feel the same way… They love life, but it’s all fucked up for them.”

1 Comment

  • By Court, February 12, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    I’m reading this in the Dominican! I’ll let you know what I think. :)

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