A Long Way Down- Nick Hornby

Synopsis (from Amazon)

‘Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?’ 

For disgraced TV presenter Martin Sharp the answer’s pretty simple: he has, in his own words, ‘pissed his life away’. And on New Year’s Eve he’s going to end it all . . . but not, as it happens, alone. Because first single-mum Maureen, then eighteen-year-old Jess and lastly American rock-god JJ turn up and crash Martin’s private party. They’ve stolen his idea – but brought their own reasons.

Yet it’s hard to jump when you’ve got an audience queuing impatiently behind you. A few heated words and some slices if cold pizza later and these four strangers are suddenly allies. But is their unlikely friendship a good enough reason to carry on living?


Previous novels which I’ve read by Nick Hornby have both been books where I’vd seen the films previously (you can see my reviews of Nick Hornby’s other works by using his tag) I’m not entirely sure what effect this has had on my reading of them, I enjoyed both so I certainly wouldn’t say it had a negative impact but it did give me some expectations.

I’ve been meaning to read some other of his novels for some time but was unsure where to go. A Long Way Down probably wouldn’t have been my first choice except that it was in the 12 days of kindle deals after Christmas so it seemed sensible.

Why wouldn’t I have gone with A Long Way Down? Well, my experience with funny suicide novels is not the best. I didn’t get on well with A Spot of Bother, and I wasn’t that enamoured with The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim either, but I did enjoy A Matter of Death and Life. I did know though that it’s Nick Hornby’s forte to manage to write light novels about serious subjects.

Well as far as funny suicide novels go it was pretty good. It did make me laugh, sometimes to the point that I felt a little bad about laughing, it was absurd but maybe believable. However I did feel it skimped a bit on the emotion. I never felt particularly attached to the characters, or especially emphatic- although my empathy did grow a little as I got to know them better.

There was only one character that I really felt had a halfway decent reason to want to commit suicide, but strangely she was also the one who I wanted to succeed the least.


Buy it:

Kindle (£6.99)

Paperback (£6.74)

Other reviews:

The Eye of Loni’s Storm

If you have reviewed this book leave me a link and I will add it here.


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Humour

3 responses to “A Long Way Down- Nick Hornby

  1. I loved this book, also enjoyed Maxwell Sim a lot.I felt guilty laughing over a suicide novel. I agree that I also didn’t get close to the characters but that didn’t bother me.


  2. I think because I do read a lot of books where part of the greatness of the book is how close you get to the characters then I sort of expected that from this, although that would probably make it harder for it to be funny.


  3. Pingback: It’s Monday. What are You Reading? 4/3/13 | Lucybird's Book Blog

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