Recently I read Nick Hornby's "A long way down" upon recommendations from my sisters. They refused to tell me what the subject of the book was and no amount of prodding and/or pleading would induce them to reveal the subject of the book. I thank them for that. I think the book packs more of a punch because of that. So, I have a tough job ahead of me: to write a non-trivial review of a book without divulging its central theme. Let's see if I can do that.
Perhaps this exercise would be a good tribute to the book itself, since the author himself has not chosen an easy subject to write about. Not by a long shot. The subject is at once too private and at the same time something that society needs to think about. A subject that is too weighty that any levity must be carefully weighed before committing to paper lest it antagonizes the reader by giving the impression that the author was trivializing something so important. And yet, levity is needed since the topic is too grim without it. Nick Hornby has masterfully interwoven levity with introspection and social comment in this novel about one of the most current and yet ancient topic in society. All this, without in the least sounding very planned. Kudos!