Thursday, June 30, 2011

Abducted by Hornby


All right stop collaborate and listen, I am is back with the brand new * sexy back...yeah...them other bloggers don't know how to act...yeah * that's why I'm back here baby, missed you, want you, need you so, that's why I'm back here baby * back in the saddle again back where a friend is  * back, yes I'm back, well I'm back, and I'm back in BLACK* so shake it shake it shake those healthy books cause baby I'm back * and I back that thing up...something something something...yeah, honey back that thing up * cause it's all coming back to me nooooooooooooooooooow!!!

Alright enough of that!

Everyone, I would like you to say hello...



Dylan comes to us from the Dell family and he is gorgeous!

He's been a little shy about meeting you all but now he is here and ready to work.

I have decided to use my first post coming back to write about an author that I have just in the past 3 months completely fallen in love with...

Mr. Nick Hornby!

The funny thing about me falling for Mr. Hornby is that I fought reading him for so long. He has had 3 of his books adapted into feature films like Fever Pitch, High Fidelity, and About A Boy.

Now, About A Boy is one of my favorite movies and I remember one day, years ago, walking around Hastings and selecting this book and flipping through the pages and just by glancing at some of the writing I could tell that the plot laid out in the book was going to be very different from the film.

I was not okay with this.

There was no way the book was better then that movie so obviously Hornby had to be a dimwit right?

Then a few months ago, my friend Andrea and I got into a pretty heated discussion about this conviction of mine. I think I was really starting to wear down her patience, so I finally agreed to give Hornby a shot.

I started with Fever Pitch. One reason being that I love About A Boy so much that if I read that one first I might be too bias and the other reason being that it was the only one of his books at the library when I first went in.

Now, here is the thing I didn't know. Fever Pitch is a memoir. So, if you've seen either the British film or the American film, those stories are not in this book. There is no plot. Each chapter is just about another year that makes up the long legacy that is Nick Hornby's love of his favorite football (soccer) teams. And for someone that isn't really a fan of football (soccer) and has no idea who any of those players were thirty years ago, it made parts of this book really boring. But the thing I couldn't deny was that Hornby's voice shined through. His tone, his rhythm, his personality, his style, it was all right there. And I could not help but be captivated by it.

I wanted more.

So, I went to a different library and got a more recent novel; Juliet, Naked. This is a novel about an English couple, Duncan and Annie. They have been together for years and have shared a lot. Duncan is obsessed with an American rocker named Tucker Crowe, so obsessed that he runs a website devoted to Tucker. Tucker had a hit album at one time but then fell off the grid and hasn't been heard from since. Through certain circumstances Annie and Tucker actually begin to secretly get to know each other through letters and emails, and as their relationship grows, the relationship between Annie and Duncan begins to diminish. For as many moments that were beautiful and moving in this story there were twice as many that had me laughing my ass off! It is just such a great story about how the people in our lives change us and alter us and shape us, even if it is only for a moment.

And after it was done.......... I wanted more!

I went back to the original library and got Nick Hornby's YA novel called SLAM!

When I checked this one out, I didn't even read the back of the cover. I just grabbed it and ran. It wasn't until later that I realized the book is about a 16 year old boy who gets his girlfriend pregnant and how that comes to change his life. Trust me when I say that this book was a little depressing. It is kind of like when you are in a minor car accident, one that you know you will live through. Right before you hit the wall or car or fence or curb or whatever, everything is in slow motion. You know this impact is coming, you know it is going to hurt, and you know that you can do nothing to stop it.That is what this whole book felt like, one long slow motion car accident. And, yet, it was still enticing. Hornby's writing is like music. The story may be sad but the melody he gives it is completely charming.

So of course...I wanted MORE!

And that is when I got A Long Way Down.

This one has by far been my favorite! There are these 4 main characters; Martin, Maureen, JJ, and Jess. When the book starts on New Year's Eve these characters haven't met yet, but we quickly learn that they each have specific reasons for wanting to commit suicide. Apparently there is this one spot in London that is famous for having people commit suicide there, so they each separately decide that is where they should go at midnight. Naturally, that is when they meet each other. They start talking about why they are there, trying to decide who should go first, but through talking about why they are up there they slowly start to help each other. They form these unlikely friendships.

And the hilarity ensues!

I am not exaggerating when I say that there were moments in this book that had me laughing so hard I was crying! CRYING! Like with tears and everything! Oh, God, just replaying certain moments in my head has me chuckling to myself right now! I cannot recommend this book enough.

Unfortunately, at this point, I have yet to find the rest of Hornby's novels at my local libraries but I'll keep an eye out for more of them.

No fear though because to tide me over until then, I have purchased this album...

Lonely Avenue is an album recorded by Ben Folds Five. However the lyrics were all written by Nick Hornby.

The lyrics are filled with Hornby's signature wit and the melodies are overflowing with Ben Folds Five haunting sound. If you are a fan of either the group or the author you should get this album now!

My favorite song is called A Working Day and it talks about the feelings every artist has when they are approaching a new project and thinking to themselves "I can do this! This is going to be perfect!" and how quickly that becomes "I SUCK I SUCK I SUCK!!!"

My favorite line is the chorus;

"Some guy on the net thinks I suck and he should know, 
He's got his own blog"

Anyway, before I sign off let me say that I've really missed everyone and thank you so much for all your comments! 

It feels really good to be back!


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Yay! Brilliant post, Bittner! I've only read one Hornby book- High Fidelity (because I had loved the John Cusack film so much) but the book was just okay for me. I do what to read A Long Way Down though. And maybe Fever Pitch, because I do love soccer, but then again it's not like he's writing about the US Mens Team, or how hot Michael Bradley is, or even my original soccer crush Jonathan Harkes, so maybe I'd find it a bit boring too...

Unknown said...

YAY!! You're back! *Jumping fist-punch in the air*

And you love Nick Hornby! YAY!!*Double jumping fist-punch in the air*

Once again you prove yourself a font of knowledge concerning music. I had no idea that he wrote lyrics for Ben Folds Five. Since I am one of those sad people who has to wait for one of their cooler, hipper friends to discover worthwhile listening material, I will be sure to check it out now that it's received your stamp of approval.

fakesteph said...

Yay, you're back! Dylan looks awesome! And The Long Way Down looks right up my ally. :)

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