“High Fidelity” is one of those novels that properly captures the role of music in a narrative. This is the main reason it was loved and cherished by a lot of readers. Here
are some of the reasons why it is considered a novel for music lovers.
It’s one thing to name drop a band or a song for a quick grab of the audiences’ attention, but Nick Hornby sticks to the music and makes it work. One of the things that stand out is his inclination toward obscure music. And while a lot of the songs that made it in flashback scenes are chart-toppers, they all serve their purpose in the narrative.
Another way Hornby uses music in the narrative is to show the growth of the characters. We all grow older, outgrow certain music we listen to, develop more sensible tastes. In the story, the main character develops certain phases to music as his relationship progresses. He has phases of elitism, rockism, and spite in different parts of the novel.
The novel a
lso brings forth a massive sense of nostalgia. Today’s digital technology can let us store thousands of songs on our phones. But before, people only held the music with their own hands in the form of records and the grooves in vinyl.
Lastly, the character is deeply relatable, especially how he hangs on to his record store. People who have music embedded in their generation have great difficulty in accepting changes in the music scene.
John Eilermann from St. Louis, Missouri, is currently in college pursuing a degree in Comparative Literature. Growing up, he read books by Nick Hornby, Roald Dahl, C.S Lewis, and many others. Read more articles like this here.