Marcus Berkmann

Suicide Central

A Long Way Down

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Viking 257pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Nick Hornby is probably easy to hate. Having started his career by creating an entirely new genre (the wry sport-obsessed memoir, which made it possible for anyone with an obsession and a plausible prose style to write and have published their own wry memoir), he has since produced a series of novels that have pulled off the double whammy of which we all dream: almost universal critical acclaim, and sales in their millions. Football fans say they hate him because he supports Arsenal; a lot of writers I know hate him because he is hugely rich and has his own website. Only readers fall upon his books with simple, unabashed delight, and there are several good reasons for this, all of them enshrined within the hard covers of his latest, A Long Way Down.

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