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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

Katie Carr is a good person. She recycles. She's against racism. She's a good doctor, a good mom, a good wife...well, maybe not that last one, considering she's having an affair and has just requested a divorce via cell phone. But who could blame her? For years her husband's been selfish, sarcastic, and underemployed, writing the "Angriest Man in Holloway" column for their local paper.

But now David's changed. He's become a good person, too, really good. He's found a spiritual leader. He has become kind, soft-spoken, and earnest. He's even got a homeless kid set up in the spare room. Katie isn't sure if this is a deeply-felt conversion, a brain tumor, or David's most brilliantly vicious manipulation yet. Because she's finding it more and more difficult to live with David, and with herself.

©2001 Nick Hornby (P)2001 Penguin Books, Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Breezy without being shallow, truth seeking (and, egad, spiritual) without being sentimental, Hornby's novel explores the theme of goodness with tremendous fun." (Booklist)
"Barber's stellar performance turns a worthy novel into a must-listen event." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mon
  • San Francisco, Ca
  • 03-20-13

Sad and Serious

Would you be willing to try another book from Nick Hornby? Why or why not?

Yes I've read many of his books and I really love his stories. They are always entertaining - and many have been adapted into movies which goes to show you that he can write a story for the masses where the characters are likeable, the story is interesting balancing some serious trauma with self deprecating humor. The male character is always so terribly lovable and so seriously flawed. This book however is different. It didn't fall in this camp. It centers around a woman who is mother, wife, doctor and totally miserable. Katie has always done the right thing and she is married to the angriest man in Halloway (her husband's true weekly column self) and did i mention that she is miserable. The story is funny at times, but mostly I think it is serious and the end was just sad. It felt hopeless and serious.

What about Frances Barber’s performance did you like?

I liked her impressions of goodnews and Katie. You can hear in her voice how f'in fed up Katie is with her husband, with her life, with her lover, and with goodnews - ahh just with it all. She becomes unglued as her husband lets go of his anger and works at becoming more centered and that feeling of her losing her bearings felt very real. Much of this book felt like witnessing an uncomfortable conversation between friends - you know the kind. You get invited to someone's house and they are actually so fed up with each other that they can't even maintain the illusion of marital civility. Some of the dialogue felt like that.

Any additional comments?

If you want a really good laugh, read Juliet Naked. That by far is one of my all time favorite Nick Hornby books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • MASON, OH, United States
  • 05-05-13

Good, but not Hornby's best

What did you like best about How to be Good? What did you like least?

If you're looking for more Nick Hornby, you'll be right at home here. Clever banter between characters and situations that are just a bit outside of believable while still being charming.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

"Really?....Really?" as I mentioned above, just a little too charming and cute to be believable, but not unexpected.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any with the father and goodnews

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely.

Any additional comments?

If you've only read About a Boy or High Fidelity, go check out "A Long Way Down" next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Ringle, WI, United States
  • 06-18-12

Could have been a good short story.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

It was mildly interesting for the first half, but downright boring the second half. I had to fight to stay focused on the story. My mind kept wandering to more interesting things. The characters were shallow and uninteresting and the plot went no where. The ending was a major disappointment. Maybe Nick Hornby's other works are better, but I will be reluctant to buy another.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 08-10-06

Hornby Scores Again

I love this author. He can't write books fast enough for me -- I just devour them! What a fun story about some serious topics. Good food for thought. We all can see ourselves in the characters. For me, facing some questions at this point of my 23-year marriage (though not the same ones as this family), I could really relate to the story and the humor with which it is told.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • D.
  • 11-17-17

What the heck???

Thus book was so interesting and had so much potential. There were so many possible directions the narrative could have taken, and even the abrupt but unexpected turn in the trajectory of the family was moving toward something. But then, just ended without feeling "complete". No closure. I was so disappointed!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A what-if story to laugh and brood over

A tempestuous tonic to love in mid-term, when things sour and responsibilities of family, job, and social pretense obscure our dreams and our ability to derive pleasure from the things we love. Brightly written, and with the usual break-pace, keen insight, delightful dialogue and frankness that characterize all Nick Hornby novels. All captured in posh reading by Ms. Barber.