Monday, 28 September 2009

Long Way Down - Nick Hornby

I have just finished this very contemporary take on modern society by Nick Hornby, although slightly depressing it is a interesting insight to the different classes of our society and how many people feel exactly the same despite their social differences.

The book is made of 4 characters. Martin, Maureen, JJ and Jess. (Is it important that these names either begin with M or J? I'm not sure) All of which decide; be it spur of the moment or planned, to kill themseleves on New Year's Eve by jumping off a very tall tower block, aptly named: Toppers Tower.

Martin: the ex morning tv presenter who slept with a 15 year old girl, went to prison, lost his wife and children, thus ruined his life.

Maureen: the 51 year old mother of Matty; who needs her constant care as he cannot speak or do anything for himself. Frank; Matty's dad left her when he found out Maureen was pregnant.

JJ: the American pizza boy, whose life has gone down hill after splitting from his band which meant his English girlfriend split up with him, she was the reason he was in London. He is also "dying" from "CCR" a none existent terminal illness.

Jess: the lunatic daughter of the Education Minister, whose sister disappeared last year and she recently split up from her boyfriend Chas, she cannot find him.

The jist of the story is that one way or another they talk each other out of commiting suicide by sharing their experiences, be them big or small and by keeping each other company.

After meeting on a landmark day they decide to meet on the next landmark; Valentine's day, to reassess all their situations. Only Martin turns up a theory about committing suicide, which says 90 days after the attempt something changes in your life to make you not want to commit suicide again. I have later found out that this is not a real theory although it is something I would like to believe as it would give people who contemplate commiting suicide that something good will come.

This was quite an amusing read at times, other times it actually made me think!

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