A Long Way Down (英語) ペーパーバック – 2006/4/6
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'Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?' For disgraced TV presenter Martin Sharp the answer's pretty simple: he has, in his own words, 'pissed his life away'. And on New Year's Eve, he's going to end it all...But not, as it happens, alone. Because first single-mum Maureen, then eighteen-year-old Jess and lastly American rock-god JJ turn up and crash Martin's private party. They've stolen his idea - but brought their own reasons. Yet it's hard to jump when you've got an audience queuing impatiently behind you. A few heated words and some slices of cold pizza later and these four strangers are suddenly allies. But is their unlikely friendship a good enough reason to carry on living?
“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--このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。 商品の説明をすべて表示する
The author did an excellent job of developing the main characters, as well as describing their flaws and strengths. Even one particular building plays a main part in the story. Two characters were much more likable than two others, although one of the characters, as difficult as he/she was, actually got the ball rolling for everyone else. Am I glad I read the book? Yes. Will I read it again? Probably not.
Hornby expertly portrays four unique, round, and relate-ably flawed characters, leading to your own introspection, but with a slight feeling of superiority. He perfectly voices Jess, Martin, and Maureen, but slightly misses on JJ, the American (granted, I may be biased). His humor is undeniable, and although there is substance to the novel, it is initially difficult to understand. But each featherweight page accumulates, until halfway through, it hits you, and you keep reading, not just for the biting tete-a-tete between our four protagonists, but for the seemingly impossible conflict resolution.
I have never read a book that had me laughing so hard, but still left me thinking afterwards (Catch 22 may be the closest, but lost it's humor halfway through). After reading this, I cannot think of another author I would rather grab a pint with than Nick Hornby.
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.