A Long Way Down


In his eagerly awaited fourth novel, New York Times-bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line.

Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.  (summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


I had no idea what to expect before reading this book.  I loved the premise of this book, but was disappointed with the execution.

Though highly anticipated, this novel did not have any lasting impact to me.  In fact, recently when a friend asked me whether it was worth reading it took me longer than appropriate to remember what the ending was: never a good sign. 

Some character interactions made me chuckle, but all of them seemed to me slightly flat.  Perhaps it’s actually because none of them ends up liking each other.  Maureen is the only one somewhat likable, but she engenders pity more than anything else.  I did appreciate that there was not a tidy bow put on the individual’s stories.  There are no easy answers for any of them, and when they try to go with the easy way out it’s a disaster.

Don’t read the book, wait for the movie.  I am hoping they change the ending and improve the story.

Rating: 2 stars!

Who should read it?  Those with a morbid sense of humor or want to read it before the movie comes out.