A Long Way Down

by Nick Hornby | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0141025778 Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 12/7/2008
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Sunday, December 07, 2008
Bought sometime in October, along with Twilight, at Dussmann's.

From the blurb:
"Hornby's best novel to date, impossible to put down ... how can an examination of four people's anguish be so enthralling?"
(Ruth Rendell, Guardian)

One New Year's Eve, four people of wildly different personality and temperament meet each other on top of one of the highest buildings in London, all with the goal of ending their life, for varying reasons.

When I started reading the book I figured that the title referred to the jump, which would be a big decision indeed.
Spoilers follow, highlight with cursor to make them visible.
It was only in the last third or so that I realized that it also described the opposite: getting off the roof the long (= safe) way via the stairs as opposed to the short one straight down. Thus, metaphorically, "A Long Way Down" also can be used to sum up the progress in the four protagonists' lives that make them (begin to) turn their back on the alternative of suicide.
The ending was satisfyingly open. (A happy ending would have been rather unbelievable.)

I certainly can't say the characters are likable: all of them are to some degree irritatingly naive, cruelly thoughtless, or annoyingly self-absorbed, and yet that's what makes them realistic. Each of them has a different "voice", a different way of expressing themselves and of describing the world. My favourite was probably Maureen, or possibly JJ, though as I said I didn't really like them. Of the other two, Jess, in particular, was really getting on my nerves, yet in the end she turned out to be some kind of catalyst in the development of the story.

Interesting story, this is a book I don't regret buying.

Journal Entry 2 by erinacea at Hotel Park Inn, am Alexanderplatz in Mitte, Berlin Germany on Sunday, May 17, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/16/2009 UTC) at Hotel Park Inn, am Alexanderplatz in Mitte, Berlin Germany



On a ledge in the lobby, opposite the registry for the new Base Flying attraction (some kind of crane that allows you to fall 125 m from the 26th level of the hotel, held by a firm belt or rope so you don't actually leave a nasty stain on the ground).

I thought it made sense, but was too much of a scaredy-cat to actually approach the people behind the counter to ask whether I could leave the book. I hope someone makes the connection anyway.

To the finder:

You've found a wandering book! Please leave a short (or not so short ;) ) journal entry, so I know that the book's well and safe in your hands. For example, you could write where you found it, how you like it, or what you are planning to do with it.

Thanks a lot!

PS: While I enjoy writing these texts in English, there's no obligation for you to do the same. If you like, you could make an entry in German, or whatever your mothertongue may be.
(Einträge auf deutsch sind auch erlaubt. ;) )
Have fun reading!

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