How he does it, we may never know... but Nick Hornby has crawled far into the recesses of the female mind and from it produced a winning novel of love, life, and the inevitable conflict brought to us by our own responsibilities. Our anti-heroin grabs hold of the most sympathetic parts of us and rips them to shreds, only to piece them back together again with precision and a smile. I finished it and started it over immediately.
How much is too much to have when others have less? This story is a fascinating and funny account of what would happen if your spouse suddenly wanted to do good in the world - in a big way.
Turns your ideas of everyday life upside down.
A bit different than Hornby's other novels. Still just as funny and witty, this one struggles with an ethical dilemma of what to do when your life partner suddenly decides to start acting like an angel.
Before I read How to Be Good, I listened to the audio version from the library and enjoyed it so much I wanted to own the book. I loved it. Hornby is funny and never lets his characters off the hook for their shortcomings. And in taking on the idea of "being good," he finds both the goodness and the self-serving aspects of it. Ultimately he shows the immensity of need and the frequent unattractiveness of the needy.
"When I look at my sins (and if I think they are sins, then they are sins), I can see the appeal of born-again Christianity. I suspect that it's not the Christianity that is so alluring; it's the rebirth. Because who wouldn't wish to start all over again?"
Just finished this book a couple nights ago, and I must say, I was highly impressed. This was my first by Nick Hornby, and I was really drawn in by his writing style - the main character is witty and dry, yet heartfelt and honest. I began to see more of myself in her than I wanted to. I truly enjoyed this book, and it's in my nature to want to add it to my permanent collection and hoard it for myself, but I would feel guilty not passing it on.
I can always count on Nick Hornby to make me laugh, even snort out loud. I love his descriptions whether they be of family conflict or a houseplant. How to be Good isn't my favorite Nick Hornby, but I enjoyed it more as the story progressed; it's impossible to read about this family's obsessions without reflecting a little on your own. Katie and David are married with 2 children, Tom and Molly. They live in North London, where Katie is a doctor at a clinic and David raises the kids and writes a column as The Angriest Man in Holloway. Their marriage has disintegrated as has their ability to communicate, she's having an affair and as the story begins tells her husband she wants a divorce.
The story takes amazingly hilarious turns as David befriends a strange spiritual advisor with healing powers that put Katie's medical degree (till then her primary source of pride) to shame. The guru ends up moving in, Katie moves out (but doesn't tell her children), and David loses his cruel sense of humor and along with that his livelihood.
I had a rocky time getting into this one. But once it settled in to the Brit's humor (sorry folks), I had a great time! The dialogue here is soooooo good it just carries you and the premise of the story is, well, so absurd it's almost believable. Can't wait to read another Nick Hornby!
I just finished reading this and have mixed feelings about it. While the humor of the world's angriest man becoming a kinder, gentler soul over night was not lost on me, the story of his wife's unhappiness and willingness to settle combined with the overall mood of hopelessness left me feeling empty. I've enjoyed Hornby's other books, but this one didn't do it for me.
Really odd; somewhat fluff-headed narrative on considering divorce by a woman who earns the money while her husband writes, including a column as The Angriest Man in xxx - and what becomes of the family when he suddenly becomes a Good Person.