How to Be Good

How to Be Good

by Nick Hornby
3.7 42

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Overview

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby

How to Be Good is a story for our times—a humorous but uncompromising look at what it takes, in this day and age, to have the courage of our convictions. In his third novel, Nick Hornby, whom The New Yorker named "the maestro of the male confessional," has reinvented himself as Katie—the consummate liberal, urban mom—a doctor from North London whose world is being turned on its ear by the outrageous spiritual transformation of her husband, David.

How to Be Good has the ironic, funny, startlingly accurate take on our modern selves and our modern world that has become Hornby's turf as a chronicler of our popular culture—but this time he tackles it all with more richness and depth, and carries his readers beyond the comic confines of the novel to a bigger truth about themselves. It's a story about how to wreck your marriage, how to help the homeless, how not to raise your kids, how to find religion . . . and how to be good.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780783896601
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 02/28/2002
Series: Core Series
Edition description: LARGE PRINT
Pages: 365
Product dimensions: 6.76(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.22(d)

About the Author

Nick Hornby is the author of the bestselling novels High Fidelity and About a Boy, as well as the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. In 1999 he was the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters': E. M. Forster Award.

Date of Birth:

April 17, 1957

Place of Birth:

Redhill, Surrey, England

Education:

Jesus College, Cambridge University

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How to be Good 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
AdrienD More than 1 year ago
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.
smhg80 More than 1 year ago
I've read and re-read this book and I laugh every time like it's the first time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nick makes a bold move writing from the viewpoint of a woman. As far as I can tell he gives a pretty accurate portrail (but I'm also a man, so what do I know). Futhermore, he takes on divorce, and actually manages to throw in a few chuckles. However, the title posses a question, leading you believe he would answer it in the novel...HE DOES NOT! After 300 odd pages, the characters are pretty much left where they started. I won't give away the ending, but there is no grand denouement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Hornby fan, I was very disappointed in this book. His characterisations are unconvincing. I didn't even gel with the husband, never mind the Dr wife. Result, I didn't really care what happened to them. An ultra slow start - I doubt whether new Hornby readers will get beyond page 80. Nick, stick to writing about things you believe you understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Possible not the best choice for my first Nick Hornby read. I found it more depressing and unfortunate than humorous (as the reviews suggested). Don¿t get me wrong, I did find myself smirking a few times but, not as much as I would have liked.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fans of Nick Hornby may well be disappointed by 'How to be Good.' Dissappoinment comes if you are expecting his usual bag of laugh out loud moments. This book is deeper. One everyone can relate to. Married. Single. It's the basic humainty that Hornby draws from. Hornby proves he can write just as well from a woman's prospective, as the male psyche. Everyone can identify with the need to justify your existence. In typical Hornby fashion, the last chapter throws you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to say it because I love Nick Hornby and had been anxiously awaiting his new book, but I was very disappointed. Hornby's characters are usually so well drawn and get into such humourous situations that I have to laugh out loud. The characters in 'How To Be Good' are all miserable people with no sense of humor at all. The wit and sparkle of Hornby's other novels is entirely missing. Do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) 'High Fidelity' or 'About A Boy'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the premise of this novel very much. The narrator desperately wants to think of herself as "good," and when her grumpy, mean, negative husband suddenly decides to become "a good person" her world is turned upside down. She, hilariously, becomes defensive of her standing as "the good one" while her husband takes in homeless people, etc. There were some good ideas here for plot lines that should have thickened and found interesting resolutions, but none of them went ANYWHERE! Hornby just started with some funny ideas, played them out, and moved on to the next funny idea. I would say its entertaining and worth reading but definitely not highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thorne2112 More than 1 year ago
A more frustrating story than the usual Nick Hornby approach, this book is still a story worth reading because of its aggravating realism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved
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