Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Book: High Fidelity

Because Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was too big (and too almost-completed) to take on the plane, I took High Fidelity. I loved the movie but haven't read any of Mr. Hornby's books, so I thought I would start with this one.

I loved it because I used to frequent a record store similar to Championship Vinyl, only mine was called Happy Trails. I knew lots of people like the music-people in the book... people who would spend hours rearranging their vinyl collections, who could talk for hours about top five alt-bands, top five female vocalists, top five bands whose lead singers bit it at an early age... I worked at a popular college radio station where people really took their music seriously. So this was familiar ground for me.

Did I mention already that I loved it? I loved it. I thought it was funny, touching, familiar, insightful (in a very wry way) and just right for reading while traveling on a plane. It wasn't too heavy, it has short chapters, it's not too hard to pick up where you left off... all important features for a book you take on a plane. And yet, totally engaging and fun, so you don't mind the plane ride at all.

(quick aside: I do not understand people who don't take anything to do on planes. No books, no knitting, no magazines, no laptop, no journals, no nothing. They sit and stare the entire trip. Maybe they are meditating. If so, kudos to them. I look forward to plane rides as uninterrupted reading time)

So... even if you've seen the movie, you should read the book. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more of Hornby's books. Also, it's a quick read so you can get back to your other big book (the 800-page monster) in no time.

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