Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films (Reservoir Dogs…); top five Elvis Costello songs (“Alison”…); top five episodes of Cheers (the one where Woody sang his stupid song to Kelly…). Rob tries dating a singer whose rendition of “Baby, I Love Your Way” makes him cry. But maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think (awful as it sounds) that life as an episode of thirtysomething, with all the kids and marriages and barbecues and k.d. lang CD’s that this implies, might not be so bad.
The entire time I was reading this book, I kept asking, WHY IS THIS A THING? WHY IS THIS POPULAR? WHY DO I HAVE TO READ THIS AS PART OF “CULTURE?”
But I know why. I know exactly why. And it isn’t even because it USED to be a thing. It’s still VERY MUCH a thing. Everything in this book is still relavant today, except maybe the VCRs and old tech (although vinyl is totally back, and I love it).
This is literally THE BOOK on white CIS males.
It’s just a lazy whiny white guy whining about a girl who dumped him because he was a loser.
And the thing is, HE KNOWS he’s a loser. HE KNOWS IT. But it is some how not his fault. It is the fault of every girl he has every dated before, and he sets out to prove it, AND FORGIVE THEM. He wants to give them retribution. But they don’t care. They’ve moved on with their lives. Except one, who seems interested, and he thinks she’s pathetic. The others, though, anger him, because they are happy without him.
All this, in an effort to some how convince himself that Laura leaving him was not his fault, and that he is good enough to get her back. That is his sick, twisted mission.
If Twitter existed in 1995, Rob would be the “…actually…” guy. The one who steps into your mentions to tell you exactly what you like and why. The guy in cargo shorts AND a fedora. He doesn’t care what music you DO like, you are wrong and he’s going to tell you so.
Now, this is my first Nick Hornby book. The writing obviously works in order to get such a huge reaction from me. But holy crap did I hate this book. I am raging, just writing this review, and I’m even writing it the morning after finishing it (I know…something I never ever do)!
You don’t mind if I scream do you? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Ok. I’m done now.