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Review “A long way down” May 14, 2007

Posted by gruelli in Reviews, Uncategorized.

‘Extremely funny…and wise’ – that is what the Sunday Times  says about Nick Hornby’s novel “Along way down”. It is a book about four completely different characters who meet on the top of a roof in London on New Years Eve, having all the same intention: Committing suicide. After recognizing that they are more or less in the same situation, they decide to meet again on Valentine’s Day and just have a look whether they still want to jump. But, as it happens, they are going to spend more time together than they ever would have had expected…

It seems to be a strange topic Hornby is writing about. But for this novel is told out of the eyes of the four main characters you can understand their thoughts and emotions very well. I liked the idea to change the narrative perspective between the four persons after some pages. It is interesting to read how Maureen, JJ, Martin and Jess experience their time together, what they think about each other and themselves. I felt qiute close to the characters and it was nice to see how they develop and even what mistakes they do. Unfortunately in contrast to the well-thought-of plot – the holidays they have spent together, the reading circle they wanted to found, especially Jess’ attempts to help the others – the end is not very surprising. But that is better than a typical Happy End when they all become best friends and all worries are suddenly forgotten. So this book ends rather openly and that makes you think a lot about this whole suicide-thing. But Hornby really has the gift to write about such a serious topic in a natural and human way, without making fun of it or making you feel bad. But what I liked most was typical human behaviour of the four characters. Each of them – maybe not Maureen – has also a rather unlikeable side, they all make mistakes, act and react very humanly. None of them is a hero which makes this story so impressive.

I just can recommend to read this book for people who like books just for reading-pleasure and do not need much surprises or big incredible ends. It is funny but not just for laughs – you will have to think about it after reading it!



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