Everyone’s Reading Bastard

Finished Everyone’s Reading Bastard by Nick Hornby. (Note: I can loan this book to one person; first person to ask gets it.)

Charlie and Elaine are getting a divorce.  This would be a pretty stressful time no matter what, but Charlie is about to learn one of the great truths of life: don’t piss off a newspaper columnist.

Now Elaine is writing a weekly column called, appropriately enough “BASTARD!”  And, as the title of this story would lead you to believe, it’s a big hit.

I’ve been a Nick Hornby fan for years, since I read High Fidelity after seeing the movie.  He doesn’t release books very often (and I accidently read Fever Pitch, not realizing that it was nonfiction and about football—or soccer, as we call it here) so I was very excited to hear about this Kindle single.

Yes, this is a short story (29 pages, according to Goodreads) but beggars can’t be choosers and Nick Hornby hasn’t released a novel in what feels like forever.

If you’re already a fan of his, I think you’ll love this story.  It’s very smart and has a ton of great lines.  (Example:  “That’s what family stories were—amusing accounts of the messes and the fuckups.  Take away the love and the laughter, narrate the stories as if the characters had acted with malice and self-absorption and everybody was in a bleak independent film about alcoholism and schizophrenia and child abuse.”)

This story (as with most of Hornby’s books, especially my personal favorite, About a Boy) is intended for those with a dark sense of humor.  If you have that, you’ll find this incredibly funny.  Otherwise, you’ll probably read this with furrowed brow and wondering exactly how anyone could ever laugh at any of this.

Needless to say, I thought it was hilarious.  And very true.



2 thoughts on “Everyone’s Reading Bastard

  1. I like Nick Hornby (don’t love him though). About a Boy: great book, good movie. Did you know that kid from the movie is now the boyfriend of Jennifer whatserface Hunger Games? He’s pretty fancy now.

    The only other book of his I read was Juliet, Naked. Another music book, slightly reminiscent of High Fidelity (I only saw the movie, didn’t read the book). I hate *reading* about music.

    Maybe I’m jaded but I thought it was okay/not great. But then again… maybe I’m exactly the type of reader he’s looking for: Jaded.

    But then again with the then-agains… I was sad back then so I could have swam in a vat of pure milk chocolate and still felt the same way.

    Sorry. I gave you six of this; half a dozen of the other on Hornby. But that’s kind of how I feel about him as a writer.

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