High Fidelity Nick Hornby Essay

Were there particular challenges to writing from his point of view? I think the moment that you’re writing fiction that’s not about yourself or someone extremely like you then the challenges are the same.In my last novel, there were narrators who were not like me.

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It’s certainly about a teen, and I would hope that teens would read it, but I’d also hope that if I had written the book about somebody who lived in Alaska, somebody other than Alaskans would read it as well. Pretty much all the books I’ve discovered I’ve written about in From writers? It’s turned novels into something they were never meant to be.

In your recent “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column in , you write, “I see now that dismissing YA books because you’re not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you’re not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I’ve discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that’s filled with masterpieces I’ve never heard of.” Why do you think you had dismissed them? They’re read by very few people and talked about by very few people, while vast swathes of the population are kind of vaguely repelled by them. On some level doesn’t a novel have to involve narrative?

All the people I discovered around the same time during the ’80s—Carver, Ford, Tobias Wolff, Lorrie Moore, Anne Tyler—they had a strong voice, and quite often a demotic voice as well.

There wasn’t that kind of clipped, English, third-person prose bit going on.

The fact that it wasn’t just the teenage mum of urban legend—that there was a boy there as well—kind of took me by surprise. Does it start with a situation that takes hold of your imagination? I think that all my books have started with a situation, some kind of fragment of narrative.

Sometimes I can sense that there’s something to it that might develop into something more, and other times it’s just what it is and there’s nothing you can do with it. Did you treat him differently as a narrator because he was an adolescent?is Nick Hornby’s first foray into the genre of the young-adult novel, but Hornby’s readers—adult and young-adult alike—will find that they are not on altogether unfamiliar terrain.All of his novels, including (2005), involve, as he says, “situations where ordinary people living relatively ordinary lives get bent out of shape by something quite momentous.” And many of them orbit around narrators who entertain Tony Hawke-esque obsessions.Hornby’s own fixation on North London’s Arsenal football team was the subject of Perhaps it is this combination of momentous changes and rich inner worlds that has endowed Hornby’s books with such widespread appeal—every one of his novels has been optioned or made into a film.Or perhaps filmmakers and readers are attracted to his stories’ strong narrative pulse, or the way he balances a difficult situation—depression, heartache, attempted suicide, teen pregnancy—with humor and, ultimately, redemption.The poster responds with quotations from, the Tony Hawk autobiography that Sam has read 40 or 50 times and has largely memorized.In the past, Hawk’s responses have been helpful (if not always entirely on topic), but when Sam finds out that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, Hawk’s advice doesn’t seem to help quite as much as Sam wishes it would.Yeah, but it tends not to move very quickly in a lot of these books.book that’s in a bookstore should entertain in some way.Nick Hornby, the author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and Fever Pitch, talks about the pitfalls of contemporary literary culture, his ambition to be the male Anne Tyler, and his new novel for young adults .Sam keeps a poster of the professional skateboarder on his bedroom wall, and when Sam has problems or general questions about life, he tells the poster about them.


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