How To Be Good

Last night I just finished up reading Nick Horby’s most recent novel “How To Be Good”. Nick Hornby, author of both “About A Boy” and “High Fidelity” (which is one of my favorite movies) has taken a different approach on his most recent novel. I can’t see this book being made into a movie, the book deals with issues and ideas that wouldn’t be easily transferred into the film media. Generally the novel concerns itself with what it means to lead a good life, how can we go about doing it, and how good does a person have to be in order to be happy?

These are heavy topics that Nick Hornby presents, yet, in an entertaining, thoughtful, and honest manner. Most interesting in my eyes was an issue that developed in the last half of the book: when does taking care of others interfere with your ability to take care of yourself, and should taking care of your loved ones take precedence over taking care of strangers? How much self-sacrifice is too much? At first I was disappointed with the ending of the novel, it seemed lackluster and fast. However, after some thought, it occurred to me that the themes brought up within its pages cannot be resolved by characters in a novel, or anybody for that matter. What it means to be good is a decision we all have to decide for ourselves, and I’m glad Nick Hornby didn’t have the nerve to try and decide this for everyone else.

1 thought on “How To Be Good”

  1. NICK~~~ I have just finished *About a Boy*…….THANK YOU….For the first time in 7 years, I understand my dad’s suicide and I feel I can keep going for the *small* things (your line on page 251 touched me) Your characters are very rich on many levels. I have loved this book from the first page…I have cried and laughed and got confused, but thank you for the understanding I gleaned…I think I’ll make it now!

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