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A Long Way Down (2005)

by Nick Hornby

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8,130186736 (3.46)190
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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English (174)  German (3)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (185)
Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)
It was a very funny book and it really kept me reading. On the one hand I felt that a comedy about 4 people who want to kill themselves is in bad taste. But on the other hand it was interesting and really amusing. There were laugh out loud parts. I finished the book thinking that it was trying to teach me something about life that I just didn't get. That bothered me. I am going to have to read reviews of the book and see if I missed some big life lesson that was in the book. But I might not have. ( )
  KamGeb | Sep 6, 2020 |
I didn't enjoy this one as much as his other novels. It was probably the suicide thing...I'm used to a lighter topic with his novels. ( )
  baruthcook | Aug 26, 2020 |
Terribly misguided. This is where he jumped the shark for me. So few authors seem to understand how to deal with the subject of suicide. Cardboard stereotypes, plot holes, and ?Angels? Wow that was bad. ( )
  billycongo | Jul 22, 2020 |
Man kann sich einfach nicht in Ruhe umbringen, wenn andere dabei zusehen. Und so kommt es, dass die vier Lebensmüden, die sich Silvester auf dem Dach eines Hochhauses begegnen, nicht springen, sondern sich gegenseitig ihre Geschichten erzählen: die Hausfrau Maureen, der Talkmaster Martin, das Mädchen Jess und der Musiker JJ. Die vier verabreden, mit dem finalen Sprung zu warten. So findet eine Gruppe von Menschen zueinander, die unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten – und die einander doch auf wundersame Weise zu helfen wissen ...
  Fredo68 | May 18, 2020 |
Margie gave me my autographed copy. ( )
  Tammyhil | Mar 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 174 (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
To Amanda
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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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