1995 – “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby

In High Fidelity by Nick Hornby our “hero” Rob owns a record shop – as you can see from the date of writing this is a time before our music became digitised. Rob’s shop is not very profitable and the people he works with are odd and unsuccessful themselves. Then he breaks up with Laura and he starts to examine his life. He tracks down and makes contact with his previous girlfriends to find out why the relationship failed and along the way he learns a lot about himself.

This is an amusing and fun novel. Rob has strong views on music and on life which he shares with the reader. From time to time he will also give you his top five most memorable breakups or his favourite records or his top five bands beginning with the letter T because he is a list maker. In his life analysis, however, he discovers that his life has come to a halt and that he isn’t going anywhere.

This story is about a thirty something man which I am not (and never was) but the author helps you relate to him by showing us those moments when he is socially awkward or says the wrong thing or is frightened to pursue something. I may not have been in his circumstances but I often recognised how he felt and why. Because of when the book was set I also recognised a lot of names of the bands or tracks to which Rob refers and many of the cultural events that are mentioned.

This is a life affirming book as Rob comes to appreciate the worth of the people around him and to see why his relationships fail. Rob maybe won’t be famous and successful but he can be fulfilled and happy.

This is a quick read and I found it an enjoyable one.

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