A Long Way Down

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A Long Way Down

by Nick Hornby

Penguin Publishing Group | May 2, 2006 | Trade Paperback

A Long Way Down is rated 4 out of 5 by 13.
Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they’ve reached the end of the line.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 7.96 × 5.12 × 0.9 in

Published: May 2, 2006

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594481938

ISBN - 13: 9781594481932

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from O.k. and a little bizarre. 3.25 stars Maureen, JJ, Jess and Martin meet on a rooftop on New Year's Eve, where they've each planned to jump. They have nothing in common, except for this. But, this one thing is enough for them to decide to form a "gang", exchange phone numbers, and plan to meet back on the rooftop on Valentine's Day. It was o.k., and a little bizarre. The four of them are so different. In any "normal" circumstance, they wouldn't even take note of each other, let alone talk to each other, or plan to meet up again. The book switches perspectives between all four characters, but it's easy to follow since each section is marked by whose perspective it is.
Date published: 2011-04-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Not one of Hornby's best but funny and interesting anyway. A pretty good read, all-in-all.
Date published: 2010-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Read! This is a book about four people who decide to commit suicide on the same night, at the same place at exactly the same time. Throughout there meeting, they not only talk themselves out of jumping off the roof of the Topper House, they end up forming friendships which take them on crazy adventures on that night and in the months to come. This is a great book about rediscovering the value of human life, recognizing things to change, finding the courage to change them, and the power of conversation and new relationships. I highly recommend!
Date published: 2010-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightfully Funny I picked this one up on bargain for like $4 about a year or two ago and found it was just wonderful. I love the way the book is written the the four different perspectives. The characters are so unique and so different from each other, yet that one thing that brings them together also keeps them together. I stongly recommend this one!
Date published: 2009-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Characters of relevance—an inspirational journey through what it means to live This novel delivers a truly gripping story, exploring the fundament human psyche, and the feelings of spectacular people, who, seemingly, fit the stereotypical label of “normal”. The characters in this book jump from the pages and attack your mind, as so many of their feelings and thoughts are ostensibly stolen from your mind. Maureen, a middle-aged mother coping with the state of her disabled son, shines with compassion, courage, and overall triumph. She is truly one of my favourite characters so far this year, as it seems her personality is never outwardly revealed, her thoughts never concisely exposed. Furthermore, the characters of this book make it worth reading. Their circumstance, however, is somewhat oppressive, but that state accentuates the true nature of their character even more so. This novel is charming, hilarious, and, quite often, masks true pain with hilarity. Ultimately, this novel teaches you about the glory of life through the possibility of death, and less-than-great circumstance.
Date published: 2008-08-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting This novel was definitely interesting. It was a lot different from what I expected, though. I was prepared for a really serious, depressing novel about four suicidal people, but instead it was actually quite light and humorous. It read like a 4-way memoir, and reminded me of Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker, because rather than their stories just being told, its as though they're "speaking" directly to you.
Date published: 2008-08-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Like Hornby's earlier books better A story of four people planning to commit suicide on New Year's Eve bumping into each other: Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. A novel trying to capture people's feeling of lost and the search for the meaning of life. Hilarious and fun to read, but in truth I like Hornby's earlier books better.
Date published: 2008-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and poignant Humourous writing about suicide is hard to find, but Hornby's done it (twice now, in fact). This is a fun read, as strange as that sounds--sweet and touching.
Date published: 2007-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I've always been a big fan of Nick Hornby's writing and Long Way Down did not disappointed. Four misfits, a rooftop and a collective goal, suicide. Don't let the subject matter turn you off. The lives of the characters are woven together, with wit and charm. A poignant story that shows you are never really alone in the world. I enjoyed Hornby's rich characterization. I became attached to the characters and thought about them long after I finished the book. The true sign of a good book is when it ends too soon. A sequel to this book could easily be written. I really want to know what becomes of these misfits.
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "surprisingly Uplifting" I was initially timid to embark on a tale of failed suicide. However, loving Nick Hornby's work as I do , I decided to read this novel. I am very grateful that I did. It is a true testimonial to the human need for understanding and contact, if not true friendship. Few writers could pull off a novel about multiple failed suicides without being morbid or overtly melodramatic. When the four rather ordinary characters climb down from the roof Hornby, to his credit, does not make their problems disappear of resolve easily. Rather he shows us how a little human contact and perspective help to change our views. I recommend this novel to Hornby fans everywhere.
Date published: 2006-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark Humour At Its Best Nick Hornby has done it again. In A Long Way Down, he takes a dark senario and adds his own twist of humour to it, making it both funny and serious at the same time. It's the story of four people -a humiliated talk show host, a single mother of a severely disabled son, a seemingly insane teenage girl and a musician who's lost hope in music- who meet on New Year's Eve as they attempt to kill themselves. It's the story of their lives from that moment on, and how they deal with their problems. A fabulous read for anyone who enjoys dry wit and inspired storytelling.
Date published: 2006-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great book - no surprise there! Nick Hornby managed to write yet another awesome book which could be yet another awesome Blockbuster. Four characters brought together by depression & desperation meet at the top of a building known for suicidal jumps on New Year's eve: it's at this end of the rope that their journey begins. These lives are intertwined in page after page of funny, witty, touching and thought-provoking "entries" the characters make in the book. Simply brilliant. No surprise there.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A New Favourite I loved this novel. From the first chapter I was hooked... Nick Hornby takes a dark and serious topic like suicide and transforms it into a beautifully meaningful (and often humorous) read.
Date published: 2005-12-01

– More About This Product –

A Long Way Down

by Nick Hornby

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 7.96 × 5.12 × 0.9 in

Published: May 2, 2006

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594481938

ISBN - 13: 9781594481932

Read from the Book

MARTIN. Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block? Of course I can explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block. I''m not a bloody idiot. I can explain it because it wasn''t inexplicable: it was a logical decision, the product of proper thought. It wasn''t even very serious thought, either. I don''t mean it was whimsical - I just meant that it wasn''t terribly complicated, or agonised. Put it this way: say you were, I don''t know, an assistant bank manager, in Guildford. And you''d been thinking of emigrating, and then you were offered the job of managing a bank in Sydney. Well, even though it''s a pretty straightforward decision, you''d still have to think for a bit, wouldn''t you? You''d at least have to work out whether you could bear to move, whether you could leave your friends and colleagues behind, whether you could uproot your wife and kids. You might sit down with a bit of paper and draw up a list of pros and cons. You know: CONS - Aged parents, friends, golf club. PROS - more money, better quality of life (house with pool, barbecue etc), sea, sunshine, no left-wing councils banning Baa-Baa Black Sheep, no EEC directives banning British sausages etc. It''s no contest, is it? The golf club! Give me a break. Obviously your aged parents give you pause for thought, but that''s all it is - a pause, and a brief one, too. You''d be on the phone to the travel agents within ten minutes. Well, that was me. There simply weren''t enough regrets
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From the Publisher

Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they’ve reached the end of the line.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.

About the Author

NICK HORNBY is the author of the internationally bestselling novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, A Long Way Down, Slam, Juliet, Naked, and Funny Girl, as well as several works of nonfiction. He lives in London.

Editorial 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 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.”  —The New York Times Book Review
 
“It’s like The Breakfast Club rewritten by Beckett.… What makes the book work is Hornby’s refusal to give an inch to sentimentality or cheap inspirational guff.” —Time 

"A dramatic, sad and thoroughly side-splitting novel." —Newsday

"Wildly enjoyable. A daring high-wire act. It''s serious literature...no, it''s popular entertainment...no, it''s both!" —Seattle Times

"Time''s stealthy tread, its unseen ability to heal some wounds while inflicting others, gives Nick Hornby''s darkly comic new novel, A Long Way Down, its genuine power." —San Francisco Chronicle