2009: 35. How to be Good

“I am in a car park in Leeds when I tell my husband I don’t want to be married to him anymore.  David isn’t even in the car park with me.”

How to be Good, Nick Hornby

I am on record as being a Nick Hornby fan, but for some reason I wasn’t that enthused about reading this one and put it off for quite a while.  I’m not sure why - I guess I had heard somewhere that it wasn’t that good, and didn’t want to be disappointed.  Well, I read it, and while I didn’t like it quite as much as About a Boy and A Long Way Down  (and High Fidelity, which I read but didn’t blog about), I still enjoyed reading it quite a bit.  

It’s the story of Katie Carr, who is a doctor, and thus considers herself a good person.  But, she’s having an affair, and sort of hates her husband, and is generally pretty miserable.  And then her husband meets up with this faith healer and decides he is going to become really good - give away their possessions, take in a homeless youth, and all of a sudden Katie (who has smugly been pleased with herself) finds herself the bad guy.  And its a novel about how to be good in modern life - which is quite a question, and maybe more than a comic novel can take on without feeling a little preachy, but I enjoyed it, because, like always, Hornby made me laugh out loud, particularly when capturing Katie’s frustration with her husband’s new lifestyle (and her daughter, who takes it up in a sickeningly sweet way).  So, while I didn’t love it as much as his other stuff, I enjoy his writing so much that a not quite as good Hornby is pretty good.

Date/Place Completed:  March 2009; D.C.

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017