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How to Be Good (2001)
by Nick Hornby
Booker Prize (53)
Love and Marriage (42)
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Hornby doesn't write bad novels. This is not my favorite of his, and I did skim thru some chapters, but a good story non the less. ( )
The ending felt so rushed and out of place based on the rest of the book.
It is difficult to believe Hornby is not a menopausal woman. Wry, dry, utterly honest and self-deprecating, with no great attempt at prettifying reality.
How to Be Good by Nick Hornby (2002)
Readers of ''High Fidelity'' will remember that Hornby wrapped up that sharp tale of modern love with a disingenuously bright bow of a last scene. Here, the pattern's reversed, and 305 pages of treacle (cut, it must be said, with acid humor) build to a final paragraph bearing more truth about marriage and family than all that preceded it.
"How to Be Good" is partly a wry marital comedy about how a spouse's change of heart invariably destabilizes his longtime partner's own identity, but it's also a thorny parable about the dangers of complacent, conventional self-satisfaction. It's also a very funny and shrewd novel, like Hornby's others, full of acerbic observations about book-buying habits, the virtues of friends who don't really listen to what you say, the tactlessness of children, movies that all seem to "involve spacecraft or insects or noise" and the poisonous bitchiness of those dissatisfied souls who hover in the margins of the creative life.
A generation ago, Western society held an informal plebiscite to decide whether the common good would be better served by sane, decent people like Katie or lollapaloozas like GoodNews. The holy fools lost, and the vote wasn't close. It's anyone's guess why Hornby felt it was time for a recount.
You might say that, by the end, the questions this engaging book opens are too big for the lives it describes; but then, as Katie concludes, aren't they always?
Hornby's prose is artful and effortless, his spiky wit as razored as a number-two cut. There are some delightful comic set-ups, and his dialogue sings with empathy for the discordant voices of ordinary, struggling humanity
Belongs to Publisher Series
Knaur Lemon (61535)
Penguin Celebrations (13)
Is contained in
Nick Hornby Collection 6 Books Set Pack RRP: £ 52.94 (Nick Hornby High Fidelity, Nick Hornby about a Boy, Nick Hornby Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby a Long way down, Nick Hornby how to be Good, Nick Hornby Slam) (Nick Hornby Collection) by Nick Hornby
Is abridged in
According to her own complex moral calculations, Katie Carr has earned her affair. She's a doctor, after all, and doctors are decent people, and on top of that, her husband David is the self-styled angriest man in Holloway. But when David suddenly becomes good Katie's sums no longer add up, and she asks herself some very hard questions.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)823.914Literature English & Old English literatures English fiction Modern Period 1901-1999 1945-1999
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.