- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (May 2, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594481938
- ISBN-13: 978-1594481932
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 416 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Long Way Down Paperback – May 2, 2006
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“One New Year’s Eve, four people with very different reasons but a common purpose find their way to the top of a fifteen-story building in London. None of them has calculated that, on a date humans favor for acts of significance, in a place known as a local suicide-jumpers’ favorite, they might encounter company. A Long Way Down is the story of what happens next, and of what doesn’t.” —The New York Times Book Review
“It’s like The Breakfast Club rewritten by Beckett.… What makes the book work is Hornby’s refusal to give an inch to sentimentality or cheap inspirational guff.” —Time
"A dramatic, sad and thoroughly side-splitting novel." —Newsday
"Wildly enjoyable. A daring high-wire act. It's serious literature...no, it's popular entertainment...no, it's both!" —Seattle Times
"Time's stealthy tread, its unseen ability to heal some wounds while inflicting others, gives Nick Hornby's darkly comic new novel, A Long Way Down, its genuine power." —San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
NICK HORNBY is the author of the internationally bestselling novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, A Long Way Down, Slam, Juliet, Naked, and Funny Girl, as well as several works of nonfiction. He lives in London.
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Suicide told from the perspective of four unlikely characters. The disgraced celebrity. The rebellious 19 year old. The lonely single mother. The washed up musician. Their lives intertwine in A Long Way Down, in Hornby's snarky, creative and ultimately soulful novel.
Hornby writes from the first-person perspective of 4 characters. By alternating between characters, the story is passed off from chapter to chapter like a baton. In the process nothing gets glossed over, as much as nuisance and perspectives change as a different character takes the narrative further.
All the characters are authentic. In fact, Hornby has perfected a twenty-first century style of writing all his own of not becoming self indulgent and getting bogged in details, as so many writers do. Hornby is keenly aware of his audience and shows the reader great respect moving on wear other authors would like to wax and digress.
This is the rare book that is both very funny (out laugh out loud) and very sentimental. It is after all about life and death and the banality of our existence.
This book reminds me of something that Chuck Palahniuk would have written, only it is better written than that. Nick Hornby has such a great writing style and such an insight into the four main characters that this book just jumps off the pages at you. It is written like an oral biography, kind of like the book Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey, which I also loved and thought was pretty inventive. What can I say? I love books with dark humor and dark subject matter. While you naysayers may love books about rose petals and gardening, I search for books that are a little more realistic to the times we're living in and benefit deeply from it. Bravo, Nick Hornby, bravo.
This book is about four people who go to the top of a building to jump off on new years eve, meet each other and decide to come down after all. I put this book off for awhile because I thought it was going to be one of those way to sappy insperational stories and that isn't what I really wanted to read. Don't get me wrong they have there place but it was not something that I was interested in right now. I can't say what made me take another look at this book and then buy it,but I'm so glad that I did because it was anything but what I thought it would be. A lot of people say this is a really funny book and while some parts made me smile, I did not really laugh out loud at any of it.
The characters were really like able and I really enjoyed the different writing style for each of them. Each part of the book is from each persons viewpoint, and goes back and forth.
The book made me think, as I've been we're they are before and recently had a loss in my family so I know that depression. A long way down gave me other ways to look at things without being a really serious or depressing book, I really enjoyed it.
If it were possible to give this book 3.8 stars I would. At times A Long Way Down is poignant and insightful, and at others it's choppy and irrelevant. Nick Hornby takes a dark topic and is able to make it seem hilarious and absurd.
One of things that I do love most about this novel is the title. I love the double word play.... a long way down looking over a tower block ledge.... and that Hornby's characters keep choosing to take the long way ( as opposed to the short way) down the tower block.
If you are looking for a different type of novel, I would suggest giving this one a try.