Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)

Hornby, Nick

novel humour narrator story

(British, 1957– )

Hornby worked as a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. His first book, the autobiographical Fever Pitch (1992), about his obsession with football, was a bestseller; a funny, moving exploration of not just football but families, loyalty, masculinity, and identity. His first novel, High Fidelity (1995) also uses a firstperson, male narrator, speaking in the present tense, with equal openness. Here the narrator is an obsessive record collector, but the story is about his relationships and sex; using humour and self-deprecating wit to reveal the weaknesses, delusions, and dishonesties of both men and women, and capturing with uncanny accuracy the mood of the mid-1990s. About a Boy (1998), Hornby's second novel, abandons the first-person voice and so feels less immediate, telling from the outside the story of Will Freeman, single and childless, who unintentionally becomes the friend and confidante of troubled 11-year-old Marcus; the novel examines (again, with wry humour) the connections that people make to replace the conventional and increasingly nonexistent ideal nuclear family. Hornby's most ambitious novel to date is How to be Good (2001), in which Hornby deals with questions of morality and responsibility maturely but without losing any of his old good humour.

Roddy Doyle, Kingsley Amis, J. D. Salinger  JR

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