Friday, September 30, 2005

A public service

Finally the truth has sunk in: Nick Hornby is incredibly overrated. High Fidelity was wonderful, but every novel of his since then (About a Boy, How to Be Good) has started off well and then fallen completely apart.

His newest, A Long Way Down, continues the trend and advances it by blowing its wad within the first 50 pages instead of the first 100, substituting cutesy banter and the occasional sharp observation for plot and characterization. He gets off good bits here and there:

How do people, like, not curse? How is it possible? There are all these gaps in speech where you just have to put a "fuck." I'll tell you who the most admirable people in the world are: newscasters. If that was me, I'd be like, "And the motherfuckers flew the fucking plane right into the Twin Towers." How could you not, if you're a human being? Maybe they're not so admirable. Maybe they're robot zombies.
There. I've just saved you $24.95. You're welcome.

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