I’ve fallen in love with words on paper: Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down is basically a story about four suicidal people who meet each other on top of a building known for being a favorite place among people who wish to jump to their deaths. Obviously, they want to kill themselves. The story goes on to see whether they eventually will.

After reading the novel, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it. I guess I expected it to have a feel-good ending to a gloomy story. It didn’t have that. Well, it had an ending, of course, but I’m not sure what kind it is. I do, however, respect the story and its author for being so… I guess real is the right word. Yes, for being so real.

Anyway, just in case it isn’t obvious by now, I have to tell you that one of my absolute favorite moments in life is discovering wonderful words, sentences and quotes. This book has a couple of them and I’d like to share them with you.

Wanting to die seems like it might be a part of being alive. (p.28)

The trouble with my generation is that we all think we’re fucking geniuses. Making something isn’t good enough for us, and neither is selling something, or teaching something, or even just doing something; we have to be something. It’s our inalienable right, as citizens of the twenty-first century. (p.30)

It felt like I’d been walking down a tunnel that was getting narrower and narrower, and darker and darker, and had started shipping water, and I was all hunched up, and there was a wall of rocks in front of me and the only tools I had were my fingernails. And maybe everyone feels that way, but that’s no reason to stick with it. (p.31)

Is that so terrible, to be so positive about something? (p.202)

Being alive seemed worth celebrating. (p.230)

We all spend so much time not saying what we want, because we know we can’t have it. And because it sounds ungracious, or ungrateful, or disloyal, or childish, or banal. Or because we’re so desperate to pretend that things are OK, really, that confessing to ourselves they’re not looks like a bad move. Go on, say what you want… The truth shall set you free. Either that or it’ll get you a punch in the nose. (p.257)

Sometimes it’s moments like that, real complicated moments, absorbing moments, that make you realize that even hard times have things in them that make you feel alive. (p.299)

Perhaps getting something you want is never a coincidence. (p.309)

It’s rare to find words that trigger something in me. I don’t always know what that something is, but I know it’s always the kind that makes you feel like you’ve just become part of something big. The third and seventh ones, in particular, literally gave me goosebumps when I read those last lines.  I can’t explain why. But I hope you understand.


4 thoughts on “I’ve fallen in love with words on paper: Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down

  1. rossmurray1 February 9, 2013 / 3:01 am

    Understood. Juliet, Naked is wonderful as well. On my re-read list. Heck, they’re all wonderful.

    • Kathryn G February 10, 2013 / 2:38 pm

      I haven’t read that one. This is the first book I’ve read that is written by Nick Hornby. I’ll be putting that one on my to-read list.

  2. thefroglyprince February 10, 2013 / 4:38 pm

    Hornby definitely has a different style of writing. I’ve enjoyed his works so far though.

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