Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review of the Day: High Fidelity



Nick Hornby's High Fidelity is the guy version of Bridget Jones’s Diary, only even funnier.

Rob, the slacker hero, mopes around his used record store, obsessing on the girlfriend who just dumped him and on all his prior failed relationships. Fanatically opinionated, phobic about commitment, and neurotic to the core, Rob is the Everyman of the post-sexual revolution era. There is a little something of Rob in all bad boyfriends and good husbands, which is what makes him so appealing.

In keeping with the theme of the book, my Top Five Favorite Lines from High Fidelity, in the order of appearance:

Discussing his first real girlfriend: “Sometimes I got so bored of trying to touch her breasts that I would try to touch between her legs, a gesture that had a sort of self-parodying wit about it: it was like trying to borrow a fiver, getting turned down, and asking to borrow fifty quid instead.”

Discussing teenage romance in general: “Attack and defense, invasion and repulsion . . . it was as if breasts were little pieces of property that had been unlawfully annexed by the opposite sex – they were rightfully ours and we wanted them back.”

“They’re as close to being mad as makes no difference.”

Discussing obscure bands: “[S]omeone with a cult following which could arrive together in the same car.”

“[M]y friends don’t seem to be friends at all but people whose phone numbers I haven’t lost.”

Why, why, why did I wait so long to read this book? If I had read it when it came out in 1995, I could have already re-read it a couple of times. Now I have to wait at least a few years to enjoy it fresh and I don’t want to wait.

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