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How to be Good

Nick Hornby

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Viking

Published : 2001

Copyright : Nick Hornby 2001

ISBN-10 : HB 0-670-88823-0
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-670-88823-8

Publisher's Write-Up

'Listen: I'm not a bad person. I'm a doctor. One of the reasons I wanted to become a doctor was because I thought it would be good - as in Good, rather than exciting or well paid or glamorous thing to do... Anyway. I'm a good person, a doctor, and I'm lying in a hotel bed with a man I don't really know very well called Stephen, and I've just asked my husband for a divorce.'

According to her own complex moral calculations, Katie Carr has earned her affair. She's a doctor, after all, and doctors are decent people, and on top of that her husband David is the self-styled Angriest Man in Holloway. When David suddenly becomes good, however - properly, maddeningly give-away-all-his-money good - Katie's sums no longer add up, and she is forced to ask herself some very hard questions...

Nick Hornby's brilliant new novel offers a painfully funny account of modern marriage and parenthood, and asks that most difficult of questions: what does it mean to be good?

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (011101) Rating (7/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 7/10
Katie Carr is a doctor and is therefore Good. That's about it really.

Katie is having a mid-life crisis doing naughty things but justifying them in her own mind. She asks her husband, David, for a divorce and rather than acting in the expected manner he re-examines his own life and agrees with everything she says and becomes Good. Now enter Goodnews, a homeless person who seems to have powers of healing. He has had a strange effect on David by making him look at the injustices in the world and try to put them right... all of them! So ensues a weird power struggle between all the participants, all basically trying to get on with their own lives as part of a family.

This is an unusual work that meanders along telling its story. Other than the odd bit here and there I think if you wrote down three months in your own family life you would come up with a similar plot.

However, it is strangely compelling and you find you can't put it down. I picked it up late one night after finishing another novel just to see if I would read it next or not... before I know it it's four hours later and I'm half way through. This to me is one of the signs of a good book, that you can get carried away with the story at the expense of the world around you.

So, to sum up, I'm not really sure...
Nigel (1st November 2001)

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