Friday, July 08, 2011

High Fidelity

I finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy over the weekend.  Devoured the last two books and then was faced with that horrible, horrible feeling of knowing that whatever I read next is going to be disappointing.  I spent all day just looking through the books in my shelves - disappointed with everything I picked up.  (And yes, that's what I did all day, it's one of the advantages of not having any real responsibilities.)  I seem to buy mostly non-fiction books, but at the moment I was craving fiction, wanting entertainment and escape, not education.  I couldn't even go to the library to look because they were closed for July 4th. 

I have a stack of books on the floor by my bed. (I sort of have books all over my house.)  Initially, that stack was supposed to be the books I wanted to read right away.  But it doesn't always work out like that.  In fact, a few of the books are a little dusty.  I get distracted with new books and library books. 

But then I noticed a copy of High Fidelity in that stack of books. 
I saw the movie High Fidelity years ago,the weekend it opened (I remember I went with my friend Caroline and I'd just returned from a trip to Chicago).  Because I liked the movie, I picked up a copy of the book at Half Price Books.  But then I never got around to reading it.  Since then, I've read a few other books by Nick Hornby and I've enjoyed all of them.  Fast reads, interesting characters.

This is about Rob, a single guy who owns a record store.  He's just broken up with his girlfriend and he's trying to figure out what to do next.  I liked this book for the same reason I've enjoyed other books by this author.  I understand these characters.  They're the kind of people I hang out with.  All the crazy things going through Rob's head as he's trying to decide what he wants or who he wants and why he wants what he wants make sense to me.  Maybe my friends and I are just weirdos, but the conversations that take place in the book are not that different from some of the late night conversations my friends and I have had.

I like how Hornby finds the humor in real life situations.  He recognizes that life is funny a lot of the time.  Not stupid funny, but absurd, "I can't believe this is really happening" funny.  But it's also serious and sad in parts.  It's about growing up and figuring out what you want to do with your life.  Maybe I can relate a little too well.  But I enjoyed the book quite a bit.  Can't believe it took me so long to read it.  Now I'm telling all my friends they need to read it -- like it's a brand new book when in fact, it's been out for years.

Planning to watch the movie on Friday, but as I was thinking of a London theme for the movie watching get together, I was reminded that the movie takes place in Chicago, not London, like in the book.  It's been so long since I've watched the movie, I remember only that I liked it.  I don't remember it well enough to compare it to the book, which is why I'm watching it again tomorrow. 

I consider this a must read, especially for single people in their mid-thirties, and people who love things like music and books and movies as much as they love other people.

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