Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity”

Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a music junkie to appreciate this book or movie.

But that helps.

I decided to pick up the book after watching the movie, which I also highly recommend. Come on, you can’t help but fall in love with John Cusack in his glory days (“High Fidelity,” “Say Anything”). Nowadays…not so much.

Rob (John Cusack) is good with music: he owns a small record shop and has strong views on what’s decent and what isn’t. But he’s much less good with relationships. In fact, he’s not at all sure that he wants to commit himself to anyone, especially with someone who doesn’t share the same music taste as him. No one is surprised that his girlfriend decides that enough is enough.

“High Fidelity” is largely focused on the thoughts, feelings and remembrances of a Londoner in his mid-thirties who’s been stuck for years at the same stage of life where everything revolves around music and relationships. The book was released in the mid-90s, prime time for cassette tapes and vinyl records. The questions the book asks, however, still relate to the teenagers nowadays.

Is it possible to share your life with someone whose record collection is incompatible with your own? Can people have terrible taste and still be worth knowing? Do songs about broken hearts and misery and loneliness mess up your life if you listen to them over and over again?

-Vania Myers

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