I’ve been spending quality time with Nick Hornby lately, though he doesn’t know it. I read How to be Good over the weekend and I’m in the middle of Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, and got A Long Way Down at the library at lunchtime today. Nothing like a healthy new obsession to cure the “Florida in summer doldrums”.
I find Nick’s writing clever and his voice genuine. I always enjoy the Brits with their “sodding and bollocksing” about. Jolly good stuff that.
I’m sure a more articulate person could write lovely plot summaries and glowing reviews that would make Nick proud. That’s way too much work and it’s already been done, so here are my reasons for the newfound Hornby glory:
- He used the word “tetchily” several times
- The characters in How to be Good had normal names like David and Katie.
- When Katie thought about all the things that David thinks are overrated, it started at the bottom of the page and continued through most of the next page. I find this hilarious.
- I can relate to Katie’s struggle with her identity.
- I can relate to Katie needing music and books to help her overcome her disillusionment with life.
- Nick says reading should be an escape.
- He says if you’re not enjoying a book you should put it down and find another one – which is a rule I also abide by.
- Nick writes a column for Believer which is a division of McSweeney’s which was founded by Dave Eggers, who I greatly esteem
- He uses self-deprecating humor and he isn’t pretentious.
- He buys loads of books and doesn’t read them all.
- He mentioned Teenage Fanclub in 31 Songs, twice I believe. I also like TF. Alcoholiday is one of my all-time favorite tunes.
- His sister wrote a book about Jane Austen.
Enough said. He’s a good man.