This book is about a few things. It’s about (1) being young & (2) a dude (3) in London, (4) loving pop culture, & (5) love in general. I’m a young girl in NYC who likes pop culture & love in general, so why not try it?
High Fidelity was….good. I’m definitely happy I read it. I understand the hype around it. It was funny in the way a comedian is funny when he tells a joke that everybody in the audience can say, “I’ve been there. I know exactly what he’s talking about.” Hornby is a writer in that he sees these everyday flukes in a hilariously accurate way. His characters were so real, especially his coworkers. I can name you at least ten people I know that those characters are almost exact representations of.
But it also felt dull at points. The main character, Rob, bored me at times. My opinion of the book depended a lot on Hornby’s ability to translate experiences for the reader. When Rob is talking about what it’s like to believe that pop music actually matters & matters a lot. Or when Laura, his ex girlfriend, talks about that first thrill she got when her father died. I was impressed with not only his guts to write this stuff honestly, but to write it well & express it so that these emotions make sense.
So when it came up to the parts I didn’t at all relate to, I was a little thrown off for a few pages. When Rob expresses his need to feel like more of a man. Or his struggles with holding on to a relationship despite loving Laura. I’m sure these parts struck a chord with other people who can probably relate to these things, but as a personal experience it bored me.
Or even worse, the parts that I totally related to, but was cast out of. For example, Rob would explain some sexual jealousy or some other experience that apparently only guys have & females don’t understand. I know this was part of Rob’s character & Hornby, himself isn’t like this, but it was super annoying to read after a while.
That’s not to say I think every book should try to cater to everybody. He’s writing about being a certain type of single guy. He shouldn’t have to try to remain gender neutral or whatever. But I’ve read books from character POVs that are nothing like my own & loved them. This one just didn’t work as well for me.
Since this is a personal blog & I have no desire to remain unbiased, here are some GIFs that describe my reading experience!
How I felt as a “right brained person” reading it.
His passion for not just music, but books & what not, was spot on.
How I felt as a somebody who identifies as a female reading it.
How Rob sees women.
How I felt as a 20 something reading it.
If this is any indication of how being thirty is, don’t ever let me get older please.
How I felt as a music lover reading it.
Hating on anything by Stevie Wonder.
How I hate how much I love Baby I Love Your Way.
How I felt as a person in a (so far) really successful relationship reading this.
Maybe I’ll like the movie more. Why the move to Chicago? I’ll do a review of the film & add it on to this later. But for now, here’s the playlist.