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A long way down by Nick Hornby
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A long way down (2005)

by Nick Hornby

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6,961161518 (3.45)153
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English (149)  German (3)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
-Meet Martin, JJ, Jess and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year’s Eve: a former TV talk-show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper’s House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. Hornby tells the story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance and their own mortality. This book pretty much restored some faith in modern novels for me. The unique four-character narrative and the flow of the text, dialogue and story make it riveting and comfortable at the same time. The situations are outrageous and moving but not unbelievable. Well-written all around, a very tight package. It is easy to see why they keep making movies from his work. ( )
  loafhunter13 | Jul 28, 2014 |
I've heard this wasn't his best book, but having read no other Nick Hornby books to compare it to, I have to say this was excellent. I really felt for the characters, even if some of them are "tossers", and it was easy to read and get through the story. Not only this, but I felt every character's truisms held true not just for them, but for the world at large. The characters were relatable and in different degrees, pitiable.

It also helped that I'm in a tough place in my life right now and, while not suicidal like the main characters, also depressed and miserable. And I feel like this book may have helped me get through it like the main characters did. Not through a sudden burst of knowledge, which won't happen, but by the little things.

I must read more of his books. This was amusing, ironic, and enchanting. ( )
1 vote liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
If you like Augusten Burroughs or David Sedaris, this is a book for you. This book is going to be made into a move in 2014/2015, which is one of the reasons I picked it up. Its a very quick read with realistic characters that you don't really care about but want to keep reading about. ( )
  AprilHaugen | Apr 8, 2014 |
"Why it didn't occur to any of us that a well­-known suicide spot would be like Piccadilly Circus on New Year's Eve. I have no idea, but at that point in the proceedings I had accepted the reality of our situation: we were in the process of turning a solemn and private moment into a farce with a cast of thousands.
And at that precise moment of acceptance, we three became four. There was a polite cough, and when we turned round to look, we saw a tall, good-looking, long­-haired man, maybe ten years younger than me, holding a crash helmet under one arm and one of those big insulated bags in the other.
“Any of you guys order a pizza?” he said."


This book is about fate. About people coming out of themselves and coming together with others. Filled with humor and life lessons. Hornby captures the essence of the old saying "make a plan and God laughs". Lol funny for fans of dark humor. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
"Why it didn't occur to any of us that a well­-known suicide spot would be like Piccadilly Circus on New Year's Eve. I have no idea, but at that point in the proceedings I had accepted the reality of our situation: we were in the process of turning a solemn and private moment into a farce with a cast of thousands.
And at that precise moment of acceptance, we three became four. There was a polite cough, and when we turned round to look, we saw a tall, good-looking, long­-haired man, maybe ten years younger than me, holding a crash helmet under one arm and one of those big insulated bags in the other.
“Any of you guys order a pizza?” he said."


This book is about fate. About people coming out of themselves and coming together with others. Filled with humor and life lessons. Hornby captures the essence of the old saying "make a plan and God laughs". Lol funny for fans of dark humor. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
...Hornby doesn't confuse the simplicity of this thought with the impossibility of sometimes living it. For all his light touches, he is never superficial enough to suggest that these lives that have fallen apart, in four of the millions of ways lives may do so, can easily be patched up and renewed. Whatever limited consolations the book's survivors find in each other, Hornby resists melodramatic resolutions or glorious moments of redemption, and he doesn't smuggle away or refute all the reasons his characters took with them to the rooftop where they met, the ones that urged them toward the edge rather than down to the ground the slow way, back into the world.
added by lorax | editNew York Times, Chris Heath (Jun 12, 2005)
 
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Epigraph
The cure for unhappiness is happiness. I don't care what anyone says. --Elizabeth McCracken, Niagara Falls All Over Again
Dedication
First words
Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?
Quotations
That’s the thing with the young these days, isn’t it? They watch too many happy endings. Everything has to be wrapped up, with a smile and a tear and a wave. Everyone has learned, found love, seen the error of their ways, discovered the joys of monogamy, or fatherhood, or filial duty, or life itself. In my day, people got shot at the end of films, after learning only that life is hollow, dismal, brutish, and short.
I once asked dad what he'd be doing if he wasn't working in politics and he said he'd be working in politics and what he meant, I think, is that wherever he was in the world, whatever job he was doing, he'd still find a way back, in the way that cats are supposed to be able to find a way back home when they move house. He'd be on the local council or he'd give out pamphlets or something. Anything that was a part of that world, he'd do.
We all spend so much time not saying what we want because we know we can't have it. And because it sounds ungracious or ungrateful or disloyal or childish or banal … Go on, say what you want. Maybe not out loud if it's going to get you into trouble. “I wish I'd never married him.” “I wish she was still alive.” “I wish I'd never had kids with her.” “I wish I had a whole shitload of money.” “I wish all the Albanians would go back to fucking Albania.” Whatever it is, say it to yourself. The truth shall set you free. Either that or it'll get you a punch on the nose.
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Book description
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve; a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances. Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, 'A Long Way Down' is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140287027, Paperback)

The story is written in the first-person narrative from the points of view of the four main characters, Martin, Maureen, Jess and JJ. These four strangers happen to meet on the roof of a high building called Topper's House in London on New Year's Eve, each with the intent of committing suicide. Their plans for death in solitude are ruined when they meet. The novel recounts their misadventures as they decide to come down from the roof alive - however temporarily that may be.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.… (more)

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