A Long Way Down

  • by Nick Hornby
  • Narrated by Scott Brick, Simon Vance, Kate Reading
  • 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his eagerly awaited fourth novel, New York Times best-selling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line.Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.

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What the Critics Say

"The true revelation of this funny and moving novel is its realistic, all-too-human characters, who stumble frequently, moving along their redemptive path only by increments." (Booklist)
"This is a brave and absorbing book. It's a thrill to watch a writer as talented as Hornby take on the grimmest of subjects without flinching, and somehow make it funny and surprising at the same time." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Seems made for audio format

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is told first-person by four separate -- and extremely different -- characters. The narrator voices for each character really added to my enjoyment of the story. If you like language and the differences between American and British English, then you will enjoy this very funny yet poignant book. It got to a point where the words "Sorry Maureen" were enough to make me laugh.

One reviewer commented that s/he kept waiting for an epiphany and never found one. I have to disagree. Each character had several epiphanies throughout the story, but the author didn't hit us over the head with them. The changes and insights they experienced were subtle and very enjoyable to experience with them.

At one point in the book, one of the main characters starts a conversation with someone because he sees her reading Bel Canto (a real book by Ann Patchett). As I thought about it, there are many similarities between that book -- which I loved -- and this one. Both novels start with an unlikely grouping of characters who are confronted with a life-threatening situation and, over the course of the story, grow to understand and appreciate each other and the world they live in. Highly recommended, but it's more appropriate for fans of Jane Austen than Tom Clancy.
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- Julia's aunt

Truly Enjoyable

Nick Hornby has mastered the art of dialogue. You will not be let down by this book, the characters or their ideosyncrasies.

Even though I didnt want to leave the characters, in the end, I know that they will never leave me.

Absolutely Brilliant... cant wait for the movie now.
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- jimi71

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-27-2005
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio