This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

How to be Good by Nick Hornby

How to be Good (original 2001; edition 2005)

by Nick Hornby

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,99398844 (3.14)91
Title:How to be Good
Authors:Nick Hornby
Info:Penguin (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby (2001)

  1. 10
    This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes (ellengryphon)
    ellengryphon: Opposite sides of the same mid-life crisis coin, both books are witty, imaginative while raising those big, capital 'Q' life questions. Ironically Hornby does a great job of giving voice to a bewildered, soul-searching woman while Holmes brilliantly pens her book in the male voice. I highly recommend both -- fun reads with some depth.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 91 mentions

English (91)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
If you are looking for a humorous book that will lift your spirits, walk right past this one. Though touted as humorous, it really isn’t. There are a couple of moments that could be classified as funny, but most of it is dreary and depressing. Katie and her husband David are having problems in their marriage and in their professional lives. She is a doctor, and mostly supporting the family; he is a writer, working on a novel and writing columns about being the angriest man in their town. But when David goes to a faith healer of sorts for his bad back, which is miraculously cured by this man’s touch, David changes his outlook on life. GoodNews, as this miracle worker calls himself, disrupts Katie’s family and home life with his off-the-wall ideas. And the story goes down hill from there. Actually, it doesn’t start off very well, either. The characters are shallow and not well developed, and the plot is thin. The book’s premise is good and could have been humorous and thought-provoking, but in the end it was just wasn’t. ( )
  Maydacat | Jun 27, 2019 |
Absolutely bonkers. ( )
  kemilyh1988 | Apr 12, 2019 |
A good read but a very disappointing ending: no catharsis.
  jgoodwll | Dec 12, 2018 |
I did enjoy some parts of this novel but others are quite inscrutable. I would try to read another book of Hornby, maybe High Fidelity or About A Boy, this year and let's see if he will persuade me to add him on my favorite authors. ( )
  fugou | Aug 14, 2017 |
I haven't read all of Nick Hornby's books but of the ones I have read, this is my favourite. It covered original subject matter in a completely believable way and doesn't deserve its overall low Goodreads rating.
  chronic | Mar 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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.
added by stephmo | editSalon.com, Laura Miller (Jul 25, 2001)
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.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Joe Queenan (Jul 1, 2001)
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?
added by stephmo | editThe Observer, Tim Adams (May 27, 2001)
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

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nick Hornbyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Øverås, LinnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drechsler, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hellmann, HaraldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jesmin, RiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viviani, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika Goicoechea, JesúsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JesúsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Gill Hornby
First words
I am in a car park in Leeds when I tell my husband I don't want to be married to him anymore.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141803169, Audio CD)

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. When David suddenly becomes good, however - properly, maddeningly, give-away-all-his-money good - Katie's sums no longer add up and she is forced to ask herself some very hard questions...Nick Hornby's brilliant new novel offers a painfully funny account of modern marriage and parenthood and asks that most difficult of questions: what does it mean to be good?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Just when the pair is on the verge of divorce, English doctor Katie Carr's cynical husband, David, undergoes a spiritual awakening and invites a faith healer to live with them and their two children.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.14)
0.5 8
1 79
1.5 16
2 288
2.5 78
3 729
3.5 150
4 459
4.5 16
5 126

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,428,061 books! | Top bar: Always visible