Sunday, 22 February 2009

Family Values Again? Not Quite.

A review of Nick Horby's bestseller "How To Be Good".

Nick Hornby

Katie Carr is a London GP (general practitioner) who believes she is a good person because she helps people out of physical misery every day. On the other hand, her husband, David, is the angriest man in Holloway and his newspaper column is living proof. When DJ Goodnews moves in with the couple and their two kids, David is suddenly transformed into a do-gooder who goes to extremes to do good. It is when Katie starts criticizing and resenting David's "good" deeds that confusion takes hold of her and she starts to wonder whether she really is a good person or not.

This book did not seem to want to end when I realized there were only two pages to go. It wanted to say more. It seemed to have wanted to say that the kind of marital and familial arguments presented in this heartdrenching book is there to stay, to occur and reoccur. But then I read the last two pages.

If I try to reflect this book on my own personal experience, I would end up with this conclusion: we live for a long period of time obsessing over a confusion that haunts us or a problem so complicated that no solution seems to be viable. Then, one day, we go to sleep and wake up the next morning with a certain sparkle of positive energy which guides us throughout that day and then in a flick of a moment, that positive energy causes the simplest of solutions to manifest in the simplest of ways. And since this theory is most practical and true when it comes to marital confusions, this book hits the spot.

Hornby, like every other Brit, has no problem swearing when necessary, and although some bookworms insist that using the "f" word is not very "literary" of modern writers, I think that this book, like any other Hornby book, could not have been what it is without the ultimatspontaneity  with which Hornby writes. It highly contributes to the sincerity of emotions.

Would I recommend this book? I would mostly recommend this book to people who have families or who are at least in a relationship. However, if you are a Nick Horby fan or you really love down-to-earth books, then this is a must-read.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds nice enough. *Hornby fan* So must read that. xD