Tag Archives: High Fidelity

Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace

Image from amazon

Synopsis (from amazon)

It all starts with a girl… (because yes, there’s always a girl…)

Jason Priestley (not that one) has just seen her. They shared an incredible, brief, fleeting moment of deep possibility, somewhere halfway down Charlotte Street.

And then, just like that, she was gone – accidentally leaving him holding her old-fashioned, disposable camera, chock full of undeveloped photos…

And now Jason – ex-teacher, ex-boyfriend, part-time writer and reluctant hero – faces a dilemma. Should he try and track The Girl down? What if she’s The One? But that would mean using the only clues he has, which lie untouched in this tatty disposable…

It’s funny how things can develop…


A while ago I read a review of Charlotte Street on Ellie’s blog; Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. Ellie loved Charlotte Street and I just had to add it to my wishlist. Well the other week I managed to get myself stuck in Waterstone’s. I had intended just to browse. I told myself I could buy two books from the buy one get one half-price selection, but only if one was from The Rory List. I didn’t see any books from the Rory list in that selection so I decided to leave. Unfortunately when I reached the door I saw that the rain was coming down like a Monsoon. I mean, I couldn’t go out in that could I? So I was stuck in Waterstone’s, and my will-power was wearing down…I had no choice. So I came out with Charlotte Street and Scarlett Thomas’ Going Out. Both books on my wishlist, neither on The Rory List.

Anyway this is meant to be a review, right? Not the story of how I got forced to buy books!

Charlotte Street was one of those books that made me both sad and satisfied to have finished. It’s been a long time since I last got this feeling from finishing a book. I wanted it to carry on, even though I knew it had definitely reached a conclusion.

I liked the characters, especially Dev. I quite often thought they were idiots but that just made them more realistic. Jason was certainly the flawed hero- if you can call someone whose behaviour borders on stalker-ish a hero! He did sometimes doubt whether he should be behaving the way he was, but there was always a friend to put him on the ‘right’ path, and I loved that.

In some ways you could actually call Charlotte Street a coming of age story. Maybe it was later in life than the typical coming of age story but Jason (and actually the other major characters too) certainly learnt something from the beginning of the book to the end and entered a new stage of life.

Wallace’s writing style reminded me a lot of Nick Hornby’s books, especially High Fidelity. Flawed hero- check, love interest- check, geeky friend- check, shop- check. It wasn’t a copy my any means but there were a lot of parallels. Amusing but in a real-life way rather than an artificial humour.

I had meant to read something by Danny Wallace for a long time, in fact since reading Are You Dave Gorman? when I was at school, and finding out Danny Wallace had written solo books, but somehow it hasn’t happened until now. This is probably the worst book to start on seeing as it’s Wallace’s first fiction book, but it has made me more eager to read something else by him.


Other Reviews:

Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add it here please leave me a comment with a link and I will add it.

Buy it:

Paperback (£7.79)

Kindle (£7.40)


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Humour, Romantic

Film of the Book: High Fidelity

I’ve seen bits and pieces of this film before, and I’ve always meant to watch it, but it’s taken me until now to actually do it. I know it’s a bit of a cult classic, but, honestly, I can’t see why. It’s not that it was bad so much as it could have been better. Certainly I prefered the book (but don’t I always?). I suppose you can say at least the film was close to the book, but I think it could have achieved something the book never could simply by being a genre of sound. Music is such an essential element to the story that it really should have been a stronger element in the film. I can’t say I really came out of it thinking about the music though (and when music is used well in a film I always come out thinking that I want to own the soundtrack), except maybe for the song Jack Black sings at the end.

And lets be honest Jack Black completely stole the show. It makes me think that maybe Jack Black should only really play lead roles. He’s such a strong character he pretty much overshadows anyone else on screen. He was well picked for the role but maybe just a bit to well picked!

I wouldn’t say don’t see it, just don’t go in with high expectations

Buy it:

Film (£3.69)

Book (£6.02)


Filed under Film review

High Fidelity- Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby: High Fidelity

Image by Wolf Gang via Flickr

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Nick Hornby’s first novel, an international bestseller and instantly recognized by critics and readers alike as a classic, helps to explain men to women, and men to men. Rob is good on 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 on relationships. In fact, he’s not at all sure that he wants to commit himself to anyone. So it’s hardly surprising that his girlfriend decides that enough is enough.


I’ve only ever read one Nick Hornby before- The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, which is a book about books, not a fiction book. Still you can see the similarity of his writing style in both, and, maybe because the first book I read by him was non-fiction, I felt like I was reading an autobiography of Hornby most of the way through. I’m not sure if this shows the skill with which Hornby has created his main character, Rob, or if it shows that High Fidelity has an autobiographic aspect. After all I’ve heard it said that all first novels are autobiographical. Either way I really felt like a knew Rob, the character was so well constructed. I can’t exactly say I liked Rob, he was gutless and bitter, but he was real. And Laura was real too. It was no great love story- far from it- but it was realistic.

I’ve seen the film (or at least bits of the film) a number of times and did find it a little difficult to get the characters out of my head. I managed though- and even have come to not really like Jack Black as Barry, he’s not Barry at all!



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review