Continuing the Nick Hornby trio is a book titled High Fidelity. Since there is also a highly entertaining movie made by this book, I shall combine the two reviews into one.
The story revolves around Rob, a flunked-out student who is running a vinyl record store, with the help of the musical morons, Dick and Barry. Together they introspect on girls, music, and the world in general. The main attractions of the book are the mono-/dia-logues which are witty, sarcastic and meaningful. Another feature of the book is the “top five” lists, which pop up everytime something happens. You have the “top five break-up” list, the “top five record” list, the “top five songs at a funeral” list, the “top five jobs” list and so forth. It seems that with making those lists, Rob is putting everything in perspective, he is making everything relative to something instead of being ruined by the absolutes of the situation (breaking up with his current girlfriend brings him down but then he realises that this break-up did not make it on the list because worst things happened in the past) .
The story is simple enough, girl breaks up with a boy, boy is sad, boy tries to get back with the girl, she refuses him, boy tries harder, he wins, they all drink lemonade, the end. That is not why a person should be reading this book. The reason (as mentioned before) lies in the style the book is written in. The passages that draw laughter even from serious situations like a funeral and a break-up. Reminds me of Terry Pratchett and his everlasting Discworld series. But with a more down-to-earth flavour, depicting situations we`ve all experienced. Mixed in is a very accurate walkthrough the basis of pop and rock`n`roll music. All in all, an excellent book, simply unputdownable. My record – 3 hours.
Is an excellent adaptation of the book and John Cusak does an excellent job portating Rob, the record-store owner while Jack Black delievers a killer side-kick act which seems to continue into the movie “School of rock“. The movie features only a fair portion of the book and some of the “happenings” have been omitted. That is why I suggest you read the book first and watch the movie later. Some of the scenes are a 20/20 copy of the book and some parts have been omitted, making the movie story-line run smoother. The only thing that did not sit well with me was the lead female actress. I expected her to be more of a femme fatale, showing us why Rob is so desperate to get back with her. Instead we are served a cold dish that left me indifferent. Nevertheless, three out of four is not that bad.
All in all in all…another classic masterpiece.