Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nick Hornby: How to be Good

I enjoyed How to be Good. It deals with lots of those questions that many of us frequently ask ourselves – am I good? What does that mean? How best to deal with the street children problem? etc. And he’s also very funny while he’s about it. I liked the bit about people from Surrey: “All the lonely people… At least we know where they come from: Surrey”. I suppose that’s really an in-joke for people from London. Hornby lives in north London.

It’s also about the rough spots that marriage can get into when you’ve been married for 20 years and have two young children and are working full time. But he’s written it from the woman’s point of view and although I can’t find any serious faults, I’m also not totally convinced that this is how women in such situations think. Why didn’t he write it from the man’s point of view? Is he just trying to be clever? Or does the fact that in this case the woman is the bread earner and has the affair, and her husband the one who works from home and picks the kids up from school, mean that the author finds it easier to write from her perspective?

Whatever. It’s a good book. A page turner. Amusing. Entertaining. It says something about how we live today.

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