Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Monday, May 4, 2015

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

I’d been seeing Nick Hornby’s books before and I’ve always known that High Fidelity was what the John Cusack movie was based on. I don’t know why I never got around to reading it. And when I did read it, I have mixed feelings about it.


Rob Flemming owns a record store. Is that what he’s wanted to do all his life? It was hard to tell. It’s actually hard to tell if he knew. In fact, it doesn’t seem like he knows much about what he wants out of life. Reviews of this book have him described as a spectator on the sidelines, Laura (the girlfriend that recently dumped him) says that he’s not living his life, and that he’s forever waiting for what’s going to happen. He cannot commit to anything or anyone because his afraid to miss what else might come along. Do you know anybody like that?

Typical guy, huh?

I think I didn’t take to this book right away because Rob was really a loser. And not an endearing loser at that. He was a snob who judged people based on their record collection. OMG. What would he think of me? I don’t have a proper record collection, and I don’t really have a top 5 of anything. Really. I thought of myself as a music lover (a long time ago) and I still do love music, I’m just not into remembering everything all the time and not into making lists (did I just justify myself there?). That’s how crappy Rob made me feel. Hah!

Oh well. Watching the movie was better. I’m not saying that I liked the movie version over the book lest book lovers the world over wage war against me. It was a better experience for me though because I’d already known the characters, and I like John and Joan Cusack. I also liked that Jack Black played Barry, Rob’s annoying staff at the Championship Vinyl.

It was a sign of how much Laura understood and loved Rob that she was able to do something for him that Rob really liked – deep down inside him. He would probably never have realized it for himself, or if he did, he might not have done anything about it. Bringing back the Gaucho for Rob to DJ was a great idea. Owning a record store turns out be one of the top 5 jobs ever. He was living a life he wanted after all, he just had to realize it.

Now let’s look at my life. I’m a senior manager at a BPO. Was this was I thought what I’d end up doing? Definitely not. I used to want to be a rebel. To go up the mountains, take arms, and fight for liberation. Things changed. I got involved in the Children’s Rights movement and I thought that that was going to be my life’s work. Things changed again. And ten years later, here I am somewhat successful in a career path I never thought I’d take. Am I happy? I’d have to say yes. Would I rather do something else? A month and a half ago I’d have said YES! In fact I was on my way to discover for myself what that something else was going to be. But things changed up at work and I’m busy again and liking what I’m doing. So I guess I’m staying put for now.

All that’s left is to have a Gaucho revival for me.  I need an event or an activity that would make me feel that all those years haven’t been wasted. That I am making a contribution to the world. Now what could that event be? But seriously, even without one, I think I’m good. I have no doubt that what I do daily actually impacts other people’s lives in a big way. Or something. Hah!