Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Riverhead Trade (2006), Paperback, 352 pages

Funny premise starts off the book - 4 strangers all head to the topmost floor of Topper's House on New Year's Eve, planning to jump down and do away with themselves. There's Maureen whose only encounter with sex left her with a mentally handicapped child. There's Jess, the trash talking daughter of a high ranking minister in the English government, whose sister disappeared years ago in mysterious circumstances. Then there's JJ - a failed American musician whose career has never taken off. Finally there's Martin - a TV show host caught up in a sex scandal. The four strangers bond over their miseries, and finally help each other off the edge.

Witty in bursts, especially when the inimitable Jess steps in, or spars with Martin. But some things felt really contrived - the way Hornby found ways to keep the characters together and so on. Still a decent read.

(Review crossposted on LibraryThing)

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