Nick Hornby - How to be good

Essay by Dj-HardstyleCollege, Undergraduate May 2005

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Nick Hornby was born in Redhill, Surrey, England, in 1957. He graduated from Cambridge University and taught English to foreign students while reviewing for magazines including Time Out and the Literary Review. His first book, a series of critical essays on American novelists, was published in 1992. In the same year Fever Pitch, his memoir of a life devoted to Arsenal football club, was released. It won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and was adapted as both a play and a film, the latter starring Colin Firth.

His fiction continues to explore male obsessions, crises and weaknesses. His first novel, High Fidelity (1995), is the story of an obsessive record collector and list-maker, and was adapted as a film in 2000 starring John Cusack. His second novel, About a Boy (1998), focuses on the growing relationship between 30-something Will Freeman and Marcus, a 12-year-old boy.

A film version, starring Hugh Grant, premiered in 2002. His novel, How to Be Good (2001), explores contemporary morals, marriage and parenthood. It won the WH Smith Award for Fiction in 2002. His most recent books are 31 Songs (2003) and A Long Way Down (2005).

In 1999 Nick Hornby was awarded the E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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"How to be good" is the story of Katie and David Carr and their problems in their marriage. Katie Carr is a general practitioner, a job which satisfies her very much, because she has every day the feeling, that she's doing something good. Her husband David, who is looking most of the time after their children Molly and Tom, is writing sporadic columns as the "angriest man in Holloway" for a local Newspaper, in which he backbites viciously about everything and...