Customer Reviews for

How to Be Good

Average Rating 3.5
( 49 )
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(14)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Loved it

I loved this book! Kate and her family go through something which I highly doubt many families do go through. I loved how the characters grow on me. It's amazing and a must have!

posted by Anonymous on February 18, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Dropping The Balls

Modern life is a juggling act, so how do you keep all of the balls in the air? In 'How To Be Good' Nick Hornby examines what happens when irrascible journalist David,who writes a vituperative column, meets a guru and decides to become truly good. He decides to stop jugg...
Modern life is a juggling act, so how do you keep all of the balls in the air? In 'How To Be Good' Nick Hornby examines what happens when irrascible journalist David,who writes a vituperative column, meets a guru and decides to become truly good. He decides to stop juggling conflicting interests and adopts a naive form of goodness that prompts him to share his family's home and wealth with the needy. Katie, his wife, represents the more ordinary and complex goodness most of us recognise from our own lives. If David is unbelievably naive Katie is believably exhausted and flat. In the end I was left feeling that Hornby had successfully identified what constitutes virtue in the modern world but dropped a narative ball or two by leaving Katie so bleak at the end of the novel.

posted by Anonymous on July 31, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2002

    Loved it

    I loved this book! Kate and her family go through something which I highly doubt many families do go through. I loved how the characters grow on me. It's amazing and a must have!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    If you are member of a family and capable of laughing at your ow

    If you are member of a family and capable of laughing at your own foibles, you cannot help but enjoy this book. My entire extended family read HOW TO BE GOOD and are convinced that Hornby has our houses bugged. As with most of his books, Hornby is an observer of his characters’ lives. The story is secondary to the thoughts/convolutions of his characters. It is a bit dark, but hilarious!!! Face it, it is complicated trying to be good...might as well laugh at our failed attempts and keep trying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Superb

    Loved

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hornby's Most Mature Work Yet

    Though many may chastise How To Be Good for its lack of humor and heavy serious tone compared with Hornby's other Novels, it is a masterpiece. It is refreshing to hear Hornby's witty and biting remarks coming from a character who is not an immature male struggling to find meaning in his life. The characterization is of course absolutely top notch, everyone seeming real and authentically pathetic and worried about their morality. Katie's internal conflicts are both reasonable and difficult to resolve. Her irritation with David both understandable and condemnable. This is a novel that makes you think and really question morality. It is in some ways a criticism of the empty liberalism that so many of us hide behind, and in other ways a critique on charity.

    Hornby does an excellent job writing from a woman's point of view, making the reader completely forget the authors real gender. This novel again differs from previous novels in that the narrator is a much more sympathetic character, one can feel themselves getting annoyed at David (her husband) as they read. The novel is of course filled with his trademark pop culture references, though they are less frequent and their use seems more pertinent.

    Overall this is a wonderful read for anybody who is a fan of Nick Hornby's accessible and witty style, a style that is only made more enjoyable with How to be Good's serious and difficult moral quandaries.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Smart Funny Well Written

    I've read and re-read this book and I laugh every time like it's the first time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2003

    Remarkable combo of humor and substance

    Although the end left me a little perplexed and depressed, the way there was so hilarious and thought-provoking that I want immediately to read it all over again. This book takes on Big Questions: How good do you have to be to be 'good'? Is anyone really prepared for what 'for better or worse' might mean (and it's a lovely irony that the 'worse' is because the husband has become 'better')? Hornby intelligently and deftly rattles middle/upper-class complacency from any number of angles, but treats his characters (and readers) with enough gentleness and respect to avoid being mean-spirited or didactic. And above all, the first 90 (95?) percent of the book is endlessly witty and entertaining, a joy ride through some dark and thorny terrain--there was hardly a page that didn't provide at least one laugh, and often the out-loud variety. I have never read anything by Nick Hornby before, by the way, so cautions that this is a poor one on which to cut one's teeth should be ignored, or at least as long as you like books that make you think and laugh in roughly equal, generous amounts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2002

    EXCELLENT CHOICE!

    The humor is so bizzar you almost wonder if you should really be laughing, but you can't help yourself! Not my favorite Hornby novel, but a definite must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2001

    Deeper and better

    As one of Nick Hornby's largest fans, I can truly say I loved this book. It might not have has as many humourous moments like his previous releases, but the book is deeper and holds a truer meaning. I couldn't put it down, and you probably won't be able to also.

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted April 12, 2009

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    Posted December 31, 2008

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted July 11, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

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