In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, read by Russell Tovey.
Nick Hornby's first novel, an international best seller and instantly recognized by critics and readers alike as a classic, helps to explain men to women and men to men.
Rob is good on music: he owns a small record shop and has strong views on what's decent and what isn't. But he's much less good on relationships. In fact he's not at all sure that he wants to commit himself to anyone. So it's hardly surprising that his girlfriend decides that enough is enough.
©2005 Nick Hornby (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited
Wife, mother, reader. Preferred genres include psychological fact and fiction, comedy and (auto)biography.
I own the paperback of this dating back to the mid 90s when it formed part of the "New Lad" zeitgeist. Although I have now read it at least twice, I thought that I'd give the audiobook version a whirl.
So, the plot: thirty something Rob Fleming, owner of an independent record Shop called 'Championship Vinyl' in Archway, North London, teaches a crunch point on his life when his live-in girlfriend, lawyer Laura leaves him. Cue, heartbreak, introspection and a whole load of 'top 5' lists in that typically male autistic way.
Russell Tovey is an appalling narrator; the worst I'd heard so far in my experience of Audible titles. He places pauses in the wrong places, his vocal cadence is all over the place and he's got a grating tone. I therefore will be avoiding all other titles narrated by him.
Warning: there's a fair amount of swearing in this book, more than I recall really. It's worth noting if you're playing the title out loud at home.
Love this story, one of my favourite books however the narration is terrible. What is with all the long pauses in the middle of sentences??
Really enjoyed this book, although I am a huge fan of the film, it's not often that a film is as good as the book, but in this case they are both brilliant. Nick really gets you deep into the psychosis of a/ 35yr old single man!
Russel Tovey does a great job narrating, even if he does sound like Jack Dee occasionally!
One of my all time favourite films (yes it's one on my list) and I feel quite ashamed that I have only just got round to the book. It was mesmerising, a treasure in my collection and one I will listen to again and again.
Loved it! Fantastic story and delivered wonderfully by RT. Have seen the film and now listen to the book I can't choose between them - fans of either will enjoy the other for sure.
... but he does come close.
His Rob is good (it took a little while to get used to, as I adore both the book and the film and they're all jumbled up in my mind having read and seen them 5+ times each) if perhaps sounding a little too much like Russell Tovey himself rather than the character. His team at Championship Vinyl are also good, although Barry is overdone meaning that his first line of "Twist and Shout" in the last chapter is horribly incongruous with the following "and Barry can SING".
Yet like the unfortunate minority of narrators - but the majority of the ones I didn't like - he can't do the voices of the opposite gender well. Laura doesn't sound that different from Rob, and Marie sounds exactly like my mental image of an overenthusiastic drag queen, which almost made me give up on the audiobook.
Of course, High Fidelity has the singular honour of simultaneously being positioned in both my top 5 books and my top 5 films ever since I first read it at about 13/14 and saw it when I was 15/16, so I was never going to go easy on a narrator. That also means that there was never a chance of me giving the story anything less than a full five-star rating, and I think I might even have enjoyed the story - my first time re-encountering it in my 30s - even more than I did in my teens or twenties.
But Russell Tovey was wrong, oh so horribly wrong, as a choice for narrator, and while I've flickered between 2 stars and 3 for the narration, I didn't give up on it and enjoyed the story - with occasion cringes, especially as the vocalisation of Barry and Marie - to the end. It's a 2.5 star narration, rounded to 3 for audible, and sadly brings the 5 star story down to a 4-star rating overall.
Wow.excellent.the narrator really brought everything to life..with unreal comic timing.20 years on this is a masterpiece of wit and feeling, with warmth and really brings the early 90s back to life.listen+++++++++
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