Book Reviews of A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down
A Long Way Down
Author: Nick Hornby
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ISBN-13: 9781594481932
ISBN-10: 1594481938
Publication Date: 5/2/2006
Pages: 352
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 262

3.5 stars, based on 262 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

62 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Long Way Down on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This was surprisingly amusing for a story of a group of potential suicides. Since Hornby is a master with dialogue, this book is an excellent choice for an audiobook. Don't select it if you are offended by profanity.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Fantastic book - explores the reasons all of us have for living (or not), in a readable way. What would you do next if you had reached the point when you felt you had nothing to live for - the answers are surprising, and certainly not sappy sweet.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was just terrific. As a reader, i was immediately immersed in the plot and in love with all the characters. It seems like a rather dreary thing to be reading about, but its really nice how their relationships form and grow. Great read!!!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Nick Hornby has used a unique and sometimes humorous approach to a dark subject, suicide. The four main characters, J.J., Jess, Maureen and Martin share a death wish and as the story unfolds, you will see they share so much more. It could have been a dark, somber book, but instead Nick Hornby's writing style and presentation of the story in the first person make this a great read!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Eh. I wasn't crazy about this book...it was actually one of the first ones I swapped and sent back out. It's the story of 4 people who all want to kill themselves by leaping off a building and instead, they all 4 become friends (?) and change each others lives. I felt the reasons they wanted to die were kind of lame. And the youngest character REALLY got on my nerves (as she did the characters in the book also).
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Hornby delivers again - how does he make a serious subject sad, funny, profound and silly all in the same book? With his uncompromising writing and deep knowledge of the way people really thing and act. Another wonderful book from the author of "About A Boy" and "High Fidelity".
reviewed A Long Way Down on
Helpful Score: 3
enjoyable, quick read with the usual musical/pop culture references hornby fans have come to love.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Creative and entertaining, this is a dialogue among four people which begins with each contemplating suicide. We follow this "gang" for months, as they interact and build relationships. An unusual read -- and a worthy experience.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this book; I liked it, didn't love it. The story and ideas presented are very smart. It had several laugh-out-loud moments.
The toughest part was the style- it is almost entirely written as conversation, one quick quote to another. This can become tiresome for the reader.
reviewed A Long Way Down on
Helpful Score: 2
This was a great book to listen to given how much dialogue there is. Loved Hornby's sense of humor and the British accents!
reviewed A Long Way Down on
Helpful Score: 2
Despite the main subject of suicide, this is a very funny listen. The characters are believable and the reading of the book is very good.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Great novel - NY Times Best Seller - one of my favorite Hornby novels.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved the way this was written from the perspective of the different characters. Very witty book.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 42 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an interesting story about 4 people who think about committing suicide. They meet on a rooftop and keep one another from jumping until a future date. It's not the type of book I normally read but it was entertaining still.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 273 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
At once poignant and funny, it is the story of people from completely different walks of life thrown together by the desire to end it all, and ultimately becoming a family of sorts. Very enjoyable!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Book was just ok. Interesting topic, but I think overall the subject (suicide) was treated abut cavalier-ly. Problem might have been that a few of the characters were just not likeable. Also their backstories weren't as involving as I'd have wanted. Also the author did a lot of foreshadowing that was annoying. Interested in what Toni Colllette and Peirce Brosnan will bring to the movie.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a Deep but quirky read. It is about four people that go to the top of a building to throw themselves off. It ends up in a sad, funny, twisty kind of Life Affirming friendship. They save themselves by saving each other.
reviewed A Long Way Down on
Helpful Score: 1
Loved it. The characters were all amazing. I am so glad I picked this up to read.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Who knew suicide could be funny? Very enjoyable.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A number of very idiocyncratic characters, and a fast ride over a twisty, bumpy road.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a quirky fun book. I unexpectedly really enjoyed it after it sat on my bookshelf for a long time...it was an accidental order from the book club. Glad I read it.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book's so good I'm not reposting it!
Take 4 people bent on committing suicide...put them on a roof top, let them interact and see what happens.
Each character is so well-drawn, each with their own voice and life situation and way of coping. And cope they do...in surprising, realistic ways.
Definitely a keeper. I re-read few books, but this will be one of them.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had a lot of trouble convincing myself to finish this book. I loved Hornby's book About a Boy and thought I would like his others, but I was never grabbed by this one. Maybe the British humor failed to get though to me, but really I think the author never really developed likable characters or made what should have been an interesting story universaly interesting.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 6 more book reviews
Entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking. Not my favorite my Hornby but shows his strong ability to write well through multiple voices.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 51 more book reviews
I've read a few Hornby books and this one is good in a similar way. Characters all with serious flaws that at times you pity and at others you loath. I thoroughly enjoyed the book!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 17 more book reviews
XLNT read. Each character's "voice" is different. I like that the punctuation matches their personalities. The story is funny "ha ha" and funny "strange" -- not as involved a study as is "A Confederacy of Dunces" but not entirely lighthearted. Learned a few things. I feel I need to just accept each character - but maybe say a little prayer for them, just in case, you know?
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 9 more book reviews
Great book!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 281 more book reviews
Not as good as hyped to be.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 81 more book reviews
I sent for this book because it came up on a list of similar books when I was doing a search. I did not like this book. I did not finish it although I read the end to see if it got any better. It has wonderful professional reviews but I am not sure what the appeal is. YUCK.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 15 more book reviews
Great book. It was very entertaining. It is about four complete strangers who run into eachother on a rooftop on New Years Eve. They are all there to commit suacide for very different reasons. They end up walking down together and agree to meet up and help eachother out. It may sound depressing but it really is a great funny and touching read.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 22 more book reviews
Hornby is a brilliant, witty writer. I've now read 4 of his novels, and the prose consistently brings me LOL pleaure. Even if you have seen the movies, read the books. They are way better.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 38 more book reviews
4 people intending to commit suicide meet up in London on New Year's Eve by chance and talk each other out of it basically. Not as good as I thought it would be.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 40 more book reviews
A slow start, but a beautiful, life-affirming book by the end. I really enjoyed it.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 17 more book reviews
Four people from very different walks of life meet at the top of a building because they have all decided to end there lives on New Years Eve.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 14 more book reviews
i love this author.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 55 more book reviews
While the premise of this novel was certainly intriguing enough - four disparate individuals meet on a popular London rooftop on the night each has individually decided to kill him/herself - enjoying it hinges on connecting with the characters in some fashion, whether it's emotionally or otherwise. Their troubles vary, but it's hard to be sympathetic for characters you genuinely don't like. Half the time, I felt like these characters had brought all this hardship on themselves (well, not Maureen), and listening to their constant whining over their situations grew thin halfway through the book. I liked the way the book was structured, with short sections dedicated to each character in that character's 1st POV, which gave it a theatrical quality, like each sat on a stool on a stage and when it was their turn, the spotlight would come on him/her while they told their tale. But enjoying a story's structure and premise isn't enough to make it a keeper. I needed to connect and care about the characters in some way to do that. And I didn't.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 207 more book reviews
The pacing was all wrong for me. I enjoyed the storyline and the character development. I read the book in preparation for the movie...watched the trailer. I think the movie may turn out better than the book.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 31 more book reviews
This novel was very well written. Told from four different characters points of view on why their lives have become not "worth living". You would not expect the topic matter to be humorous but it is a funny and uplifting read.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 3 more book reviews
My overall impression of the book is: "meh." It'd be a good read for a holiday on the beach because it's light and airy and attempts to be funny (and is, at quite a few parts, but mostly I could tell that he was just trying too hard, you know?). The premise is really interesting: four strangers each go to commit suicide atop the same building, and each is fully confident of his/her convictions behind such an act, but upon running into each other, they begin to doubt the validity of the others motives. So, they're each saying "I deserve to die," but that "you don't, because you're too young/a parent/haven't thought things through/too crazy/etc to die yourself." Essentially, they save each other. But one of the characters (Jess), really the main one who drives the story line along, is awful and rude and completely impossible to relate to, so that made the the ability to really "get sucked into" the book difficult. I had high expectations and I thought this book was just "okay".
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 239 more book reviews
This started out really really good. I couldn't stop reading it... the middle dropped off, but it ended well :) I really like Nick Hornby. His writing is interesting - he keeps my attention. And he's a little bit funky.

I loved the character of JJ and absolutely hated Jess. I know, everyone who has ever read this book hated Jess. But I HATED her. I'm pretty sure I actually called her a few really nasty names.

Now THAT is the sign of a well written book... you feel actual hatred towards one of the characters :-)
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 8 more book reviews
I didn't like the main two characturs in it, not a fast paced story but a very funny story. Best selling UK writer. Sad and Deeply moving, about a set of strangers who meet and whether a group of losers and pizza can really see you through a long night of the soul.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 7 more book reviews
Very dry and witty and touching all in one breath.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 10 more book reviews
"4 people with very different reasons but a common purpose, find their way to the top of a...building in London...(where)they encounter company.A Long Way Down is the story of what happens next, and what doesn't..." This book is a good read filled with humor, irony, and pain. I really enjoyed it!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 29 more book reviews
good read!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 9 more book reviews
I enjoyed this one...quirky but fun.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 5 more book reviews
FUNNY!!!
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 2 more book reviews
Loved this book, 4 people who are at the end of their rope find meaning in their lives.
reviewed A Long Way Down on
Very enjoyable book by a delightful author. Four stories that come together in an unusual way. Hornby shows how people can come to the brink or despair and lift each other up, even though all are just limping through life. As with many of his other books, would make for a funny, quirky movie.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 26 more book reviews
I loved this hip book. Funny but poignant.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 4 more book reviews
by the author of "High Fedelity" A group of 4 unlikely individuals meet as a suicide prevention group.
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Surprisingly good--after the first few pages.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 17 more book reviews
I enjoyed this dark journey
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 84 more book reviews
Nick Hornby is always so fun to read, even if the story is about four depressed people who meet attempting suicide! This Hornby required way more patience and suspension of disbelief than usual; the premise was super super contrived and if it were another, less hilarious writer, I would have been totally irritated.

The four members of this gang of survivors feel to varying degrees guilty, discouraged, hopeless, and out of control: JJ the failed American rocker; Martin the scandalized newscaster; Maureen, single mother to a 19 yr old son born in a vegetative state; and Jess the obnoxious angst-ridden teen. The way this mismatched foursome manages to support and exhasperate each other is somehow entertaining and uplifting.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 7 more book reviews
The first 3/4 of this book was entertaining, though it seems like the author really rushed the ending just becuase he was sick of writing the book. I love the rest of the authors books, but this one wasn't that great.
reviewed A Long Way Down on
This story has a lot of wit and humor which worked towards balancing the dark subject of suicide. I found the characters to be too convoluted and not very real with the exception of Maureen.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 24 more book reviews
Rumor has it this book is turning into a movie in Europe. Which means it'll head our way months later. Can't wait to see it.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 55 more book reviews
Skillfully written. Nice turns of phrase. Plotline a bit 'meh...'.
reviewed A Long Way Down on
I didn't like it. The characters were unlikable, didn't grow or mature through the book, and remained unlikeable and egocentric at the end. They just did it together instead of individually. Dull, uninspired story.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 11 more book reviews
description: 4" peiple w/very different reasons but a common purpose, find their way to the top of a 15 story bulding in London. None of them has calculated that, on a date humans favor for acts of significance, in a place known as a local suidice jumpers' favorite, they might encounter company. This is the stroy of what happens next, and of what doesn't..."
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 13 more book reviews
One New Year's Eve, four people with very different reasons but a common purpose, find their way to the top of a fifteen-story building in London. None of tham has calculated that, on a date humans favor for acts of significance, in a place known as a local suicide jumpers favorite, they might encounter company. A Long Way Down is the story of what happens next, and of what doesn't....
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 97 more book reviews
One New Year's Eve, four people with very different reasons but a common purpose, find their way to the top of a fifteen-story building in London. None of them has calculated that, on a date humans favor for such acts of significance, in a place known as a local suicide-jumpers' favorite, they might encounter company. A Long Way Down is the story of what happens next, and of what doesn't.
reviewed A Long Way Down on + 10 more book reviews
Tantric.