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`Is it the introduction of characters or the social relevance of the themes and narratives in 'A Long Way Down' that interests and intrigues the reader?

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Introduction

`Is it the introduction of characters or the social relevance of the themes and narratives in 'A Long Way Down' that interests and intrigues the reader? By Matthew Simpson Nick Hornby is a modern British classic author, having won many awards, most of his books have climbed to the top of the bestsellers chart. Most of his books are fictional and tend to be written about unemployed characters or characters who are now quite far down the social ladder, for whatever reason. His books have done well enough for three films to be made out of them. 'A Long Way Down' is about four characters who want to commit suicide, but meet and decide not to, instead opting to help each other. It was very successful because of its narrative and the characters which we like to read about in order to make ourselves feel better. People would also buy it because of his previous success. There are many reasons for its success, including the fact that it is about suicide. We are intrigued by this narrative because it is something we do not really know about. The theme of social wealth is also very important because it is something we are involved with on a day to day basis. ...read more.

Middle

We didn't leave him?" It also gives us, as readers, variety so that if we get bored of one characters way of writing, we are safe in the knowledge that another character will be along in a minute that has a different outlook on things, and a different style of writing, inspiring us to keep reading. Moreover, if we had just one narrative then we wouldn't learn anything about suicide that would give us a "well-rounded" opinion if you like, it would also get terribly boring unless that character had split personalities, for example. Explore Hornby's writing style I think that Hornby's writing style is fabulous. The way we get the impression that he has written nothing, and that it was the work of these completely believable characters is astounding. As above, he frequently uses colloquialism, presumably to bring the novel down to earth and to make people believe that these could be real people. He uses very subtle language techniques such as brackets to make Maureen seem un-confident and Jess' lack of speech marks to indicate stupidity. Practically the whole book is written like a conversation and flows like one as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that they were designed to intrigue and interest the reader, but were too vulgar or out of the ordinary to care for. I think that a reader would be more likely to care for a character if they were in a similar situation and so could empathize with them. In conclusion, I think that the social relevance of the novel outweighs that of the character introductions, because it is such a big issue in modern society, and this is where the initial spark of intrigue comes from, from us wanting to know so much about the topic of suicide. However, because the character introductions are so good, they are also responsible for hooking the reader and keeping them reading, perhaps more so than the social relevance. Had this book been released in the 1920s then the social relevance in relation to partying and suicide etc, would have perhaps of been less than it is now, and the introductions would have been such a contrast to writing of that time that they would not hook many people. So after reflection, it must be a combination of the two. [Word count: 2091] ...read more.

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