The next book I'm reading is Nick Hornby's latest, Slam. I just started it this morning on the bus. I've read most of Hornby's books: High Fidelity, About A Boy, How to Be Good and Fever Pitch. Obviously, I enjoy his work. High Fidelity was my first contact with his writing. The movie had already come out, I was semi-interested in it, but I decided to read the book first. It grabbed me from the beginning. Not only do I like reading British books, but Hornby's writing is very entertaining. He can speak from the male perspective well, and isn't afraid to write what men are really thinking (this is what I've heard and how it seems to me, since I'm of the opposite gender, I don't know first hand). There were so many situations in the book that were real to me - the way men may fantasize about other women, but how those fantasies "don't deliver" like the person they're really with and who they truly love. While the movie is set stateside, and Rob is played by the American John Cusack, it's perfectly done as well, and one of my most favorite, most quotable movies.
About A Boy was a similar experience for me. The book was engaging and hilarious. I went out and bought it shortly after I read High Fidelity. And when I heard they were making a movie, and an English flick at that, I was excited. And that movie delivered as well. Hornby has a way of making the most painful situations turn out to be heart-warming. While the boy's mother attempts suicide, the boy's reaction is true and realistic. His need for male companionship is gut-wrenching, but the events that ensue are hilarious. And just the thought of a young kid reaching in and melting the cold exterior of a self-absorbed man-boy is very hopeful.
In How to Be Good, Hornby took a detour and wrote from the female perspective. While the book was still entertaining, I wasn't as enthralled as with the other two, and I honestly have a hard time remembering what it was about. Fever Pitch, Hornby's memoir of his love of futbol/soccer, is also great. He's back in his natural style of speaking from the male side of things. He's obsessed with the sport - obsessed. Being someone who has also been obsessed with different things at different times in my life, I could totally relate once again. I'm anxious to see if Slam will captivate me the same way - will I truly care about a skateboarding teenager who talks to his poster of Tony Hawk? I'll let you know.