I admit the title is rather long, which I meant intentionally. I wanted to keep it simple with the title of the book and the name of the author; but I wonder how many versions of them are already existing out there. This is not to say this piece of writing would be noticed in some way, and definitely not by Nick Hornby himself. But I read one of his book, only at the beginning of this week, for the first time, and I have never heard of him before, and I do read. And I also assume I read considerably an adequate amount. Anyhow, the book fit me, in my particular situation in life, so well that I did question whether this is a coincidence. But as Nick said in this book, “you consider coincidences in life when you have no power to control your life” (not exact those words, I am just rephrasing); I think it would more or less sum up what situation I am in life now.
So, I wanted to make an effort, finding a contact of Nick maybe, and maybe wrote him an email, expressing layers of affection his book had on me, in spite of the chances he must have had already received tons of emails as such, given that he ever received and had time to read those emails. The effort lasted for a couple of minutes; then, I realised all the online contacts are from the publisher, and since this book connects with me in such a personal way, I don’t think I want people working at the publisher reading them. So, clearly this post was not meant to be published either. However weird I find sharing these small bits of those affection in public here, I do sincerely want to mark something, before the book will eventually belongs to the list of my favourite books. Because I know it is a bit more than that; but it is most high-peak and clear just at this moment when I finish the book 20 minutes ago.
“A long way down” – Nick Hornby. How many of you have read the book?
I did not even buy the book myself in the first place. I found it on my friend’s bookshelf, and thought :”Huh, okay, why not giving it a try?“. You are welcomed to comment about my ignorance. Anyway, I started to be sucked into it. The way the book started with four different mindsets, got me confused a bit at the beginning. The humour sense is so well-crafted that even if I am reading about deep thoughts about life, about possible tragical situations which can happen to every one of us, I end up laughing anyway. It was those kinds of laugh that I sighed a little at the end, thinking to myself “What a sad laugh it might sound to people around me!“. But I did not mean this in a bad way. I think Nick did such a great job in placing those hilarious moments there, in where they are supposed to be; in order for readers not to fall into a deep well of depression over life, finishing the book. It got me thinking a lot though, and feeling as if I am heard.
And you can say that we shouldn’t have been up there, because wanting to kill yourself is a coward’s way out, and you can say that none of us had enough reason to want to do it. But you can’t say that we didn’t feel it, because we all did, and that was more important than anything.
Nick describes well how an unhappy person feels normally, despite what background or sort of issues make you unhappy. Unhappiness will push to away from average social life, a bit or a whole lot. I figure it is becoming harder to let yourself be heard or understood these days. Because everyone is like walking through life, with a baggage of their own. Or some of them don’t. So I have my own baggage, and I don’t even know what words or expressions to use when I am asked. It makes me somewhat unhappy. This unhappy vibe will surround me; and people might feel I am doing this all to myself, it is my choice to be so, as an adult – which I can’t say 100% they are wrong. Reading this book, I feel heard in a different way, even though I am in no situations as the characters. Four of them also are in no similar problem as the rest; which make the content interesting to read. I got to experience from four different angles. Each of them reflects a bit of myself; and all of them, together, gave me this thought: “Well, you know what, you are not the only one“.
I am not saying that it makes life more pinky. But, I guess it does not have to. I am not starting to read a book, wishing when I finish, something will enlighten my life. I usually got sucked into a book, due to its surprisingly fitting to my own mindset at the time. Reading about stories of people who wish to die, you presume it must have sound more depressing than this. It does not actually; it is one of the book does not obtain a fake happy ending. I know this; since I was trying to find one and was waiting for one through out the whole time reading. I thought, okay, so at some point, something would happen, and all four of them would have a happy ending, as in Hollywood movies. Everything falls into places at the end, you know.
Four characters do not suicide, of course; it is still not an ending I was hoping for. But it is okay as that, in fact, more than okay. It ends with the four looking at the London Eye, acknowledging that it is moving even when it does not seem so. That is one deep sentence. I am still processing it, but I like that ending sentence. Not a happy one, but not a depressing sad one. I want to say a realistic one; but lately, I have been questioning what the line is between “dream” and “reality” (except the obvious between when you are dreaming sleeping and awake, obviously). Anyway, it might be another post soon, me sharing about random philosophical thoughts of mine. The purpose is, you should read if you haven’t (in case you are also slow of catching like me). I can’t tell you in details on what scale the book helps me; but I can tell you it gives you some angles to think about.