A Long Way Down by Nick HornbyIn 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 theyve reached the end of the line.
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Years 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 Toppers 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.
Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.
Whats your jumping-off point?
Why is it the biggest sin of all? All your life youre told that youll be going to this marvelous place when you pass on. And the one thing you can do to get you there a bit quicker is something that stops you getting there at all. Oh, I can see that its a kind of queue-jumping. But if someone jumps the queue at the post office, people tut. Or sometimes they say Excuse me, I was here first. They dont say You will be consumed by hellfire for all eternity. That would be a bit strong.
Id spent the previous couple of months looking up suicides on the Internet, just out of curiosity. And nearly every single time, the coroner says the same thing: He took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed. And then you read the story about the poor bastard: His wife was sleeping with his best friend, hed lost his job, his daughter had been killed in a road accident some months before . . . Hello, Mr. Coroner? Im sorry, but theres no disturbed mental balance here, my friend. Id say he got it just right.
I was at a party downstairs. It was a shit party, full of all these ancient crusties sitting on the floor drinking cider and smoking huge spliffs and listening to weirdo space-out reggae. At midnight, one of them clapped sarcastically, and a couple of others laughed, and that was it-Happy New Year to you, too. You could have turned up to that party as the happiest person in London, and youd still have wanted to jump off the roof by five past twelve. And I wasnt the happiest person in London anyway. Obviously.
New Years Eve was a night for sentimental losers. It was my own stupid fault. Of course thered be a low-rent crowd up there. I should have picked a classier date-like March 28, when Virginia Woolf took her walk into the river, or November 25 (Nick Drake). If anybody had been on the roof on either of those nights, the chances are they would have been like-minded souls, rather than hopeless f*ck-ups who had somehow persuaded themselves that the end of a calendar year is in any way significant.
A Long Way Down: Berlin 2014 – first look review
Their plans for death in solitude are ruined when they meet as they decide to come down from the roof alive, however temporary that may be. He is interrupted by a woman, Maureen Toni Collette , who has the same fate in mind. She shyly offers to wait her turn, until two other strangers, a young woman named Jess Imogen Poots and a pizza deliverer called J. Aaron Paul , also turn up. Martin is recognized by the others, having been a popular television personality before going to prison for a relationship with a girl who turned out to be After talking things over, the four strangers form a pact, vowing to wait at least until Valentine's Day before taking their lives.
N ick Hornby's novel about four would-be suicides has become an amiable, undemanding comedy that is unlikely, it is fair to say, to repeat the success of An Education , the last film he found himself involved in. That film, scripted by Hornby but adapted from Lynn Barber's memoir , was bolstered by a career-making performance from Carey Mulligan; A Long Way Down, by contrast, shares the acting duties equally between the four leads. Pierce Brosnan , adopting a dubious mockney accent, plays disgraced TV presenter Martin Sharp, who has toiled to the top of a rundown tower block to end it all on New Year's Eve. He is interrupted by, in turn, mousy single mother Maureen Toni Collette , who is overwhelmed by caring for her disabled son; mouthy teenager Jess Imogen Poots , smarting from rejection; and wannabe rocker JJ Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul , who is reduced to delivering pizzas. The pact that the four make, designed to help them claw their way back from their individual miseries, provides the meat of the subsequent narrative. Hornby's novel told its story by giving each character a few pages at a time; this film keeps the same device, more or less, by allowing them each a voiceover from time to time, and sizeable introductory scenes.
You get the idea. Honest emotion falls victim to poor filmmaking again. He climbs to the roof of the Toppers Building, a notorious suicide spot; so notorious that he runs into three other people on this frosty, fateful evening. Jess Imogen Poots is heartbroken and J. Aaron Paul tells his new mates that he has brain cancer.
quotes about people being ignorant