Monday, August 6, 2007

Everything I Consume: A Long Way Down

I liked this book a lot, I like everything by Nick Hornby. It follows four strangers who meet on a London rooftop with the intention of killing themselves. The book follows them after they change their minds and come down. Suicide is a tough thing to read about but the book finds a way of talking about it that takes the decision seriously but you can also laugh about it. Despite their many differences and one awesome similarity they become friends or more accurately, a support group.

The chapter's first-person narrative alternates between the different characters which is my favorite style of narration (Here's a good example. Here's another one.) The writing style is that self-referential, apologetic, two steps forward one step back style with lots of pop culture that Sarah Vowell, Bill Simmons and everyone else is using these days ("I was sick on the carpet outside the bathroom. Well, I say "carpet"—I was actually sick where the carpet should have been, but he didn't have one."). I think the message of this book is you are who your friends and loved ones are, in contrast to the author's High Fidelity which wondered if you are what you consume. Since you're reading Everything I Consume I have no idea what that makes you.

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