I've been on a British author's kick for a few weeks this summer, I've read A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby and Little Bee by Chris Cleave (which I intend to review very soon as well) and I've just started Atonement by Ian McEwan so the UK kick is starting to become a bit out of hand. But I'm perfectly okay with it, especially if I go to London next Spring Break with a theatre group from my school. But I digress, onward with the reviewing!
Rob Fleming is a London record store owner in his mid-thirties whose girlfriend, Laura, has just left him. At the record shop — named Championship Vinyl — Rob and his employees Dick and Barry spend their free moments discussing mix-tape aesthetics and constructing"top-five" lists of anything that demonstrates their knowledge of music.
Rob, recalling his five most memorable breakups, sets about getting in touch with the former girlfriends. Eventually, Rob's re-examination of his failed relationships and the death of Laura's father bring the two back together. Their relationship is cemented by the launch of a new purposefulness to Rob's life in the revival of his disc jockey career.
Also, realizing that his fear of commitment (a result of his fear of death of those around him) and his tendency to act on emotion are responsible for his continuing desires to pursue new women, Rob makes a symbolic commitment to Laura.
At first when I started to get into the book I started feeling like I was reading the pages of a boyfriend's personal journal, I mean the back cover even says, "Keep this book away from your girlfriend-it contains too many of your secrets to let it fall into the wrong hands."- Details magazine and that was just like bait to me. Of course a single girl would want to read a book from the perspective of a guy that has similar interests and whatnot. It just makes sense, and my sanity doesn't need to be questioned right now.
I thought that the character development of the book was great, everyone was introduced in Rob's life in such a way that it felt like you, the reader, was just one of his friend's that he was telling the story too. The dialogue in the book was very true to life. I don't think that I've ever read an author that has swore as much Nick Hornby does, but I totally loved it because it made the story become more real and everything that Rob and Laura went through became that much more believable.
I recently quoted a line from the movie that was changed from what it was actually wrote as in the book, "Books, records, films--These things matter. Call me shallow. It's the fucking truth." -High Fidelity, and my mom called me a potty mouth..so in response I just told her to call Mr. Hornby that since he wrote the words and I was just quoting them for their relevance. You had to be there...
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book, whether your a guy or girl. Because you will learn something from it no matter your gender or what state your love life is currently in.