"High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby.

Essay by Lotsis January 2006

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"High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby is set in London. The main character is Rob Fleming, a man in his thirties. He doesn't really stand out in any way; he is not good-looking, but not ugly either, he runs a record-shop called Championship Vinyl and is devoted to music. He owns thousands of records.

The story starts with his girlfriend Laura moving out one Monday night. He tries to convince himself that he is ok, smokes a cigarette and goes to work. He works with Barry and Dick, who are like him, they don't have friends and they just hang out at the shop because they have nothing better to do. They are the only friends Rob has been keeping up with; since he started going out with Laura, they've been seeing her friends. They are by no means close, and he doesn't tell them about Laura leaving before he snaps at Barry for making fun of his life.

Rob tries to get on with his life, but he misses Laura and it doesn't help that his mother is taking it so hard. Rob meets up with their mutual friend Liz who blurts that she doesn't think much of this Ray, who Laura is living with now. Rob figures out that Laura has moved in with their ex-next-door neighbour, and starts harassing them by phone and goes to see where he lives. At the same time, Rob meets an American singer Marie LaSalle, develops a crush on her and sleeps with her. They manage to stay friends, and Rob, Marie, Dick and Barry go to gigs together. He still isn't over Laura, but even Liz is angry at him when she finds out that he cheated on Laura, while she was pregnant (he didn't know it at...