Given the disagreement between Nick Hornby’s reputation and my experience of High Fidelity, I thought I’d better let him have another shot.
While I found the protagonist’s thoughts and actions much more plausible and the subject matter more meaningful, the events were so improbable that the effect of the portrayal of a “normal family life in Holloway” was spoilt.
The book touches on any number of pertinent topics – divorce, family, infidelity, guilt, homelessness, faith healers, mental illness and “how to be good” – and is really quite readable (I was moderately reluctant to put it down). Both the protagonist and most of the supporting cast were of the varieties one meets in life. Even the ridiculous characters made sense as plot drivers (although their actions were completely improbable and I’m certain that such people cannot be found in London).
Worth it if you like his style.