Tuesday, February 09, 2010

REVIEW: The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

Everyone of you that said I would like The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, thank you. You were all right. Also? the advice about reading this book with a pen and paper nearby to frantically scribble down his recommendations? Yes, you were spot-on about that as well.

But how could any book blogger not love this book? OK, so these are all articles that he wrote for an American magazine Believer over the course of a year, but I felt like it could have all been Hornby's book blog. The sub-title for the book (I find sub-titles to be fascinating!) is: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man's Struggle with the Monthly Tide of of the Books He's Bought and the Books He's Been Meaning to Read.

And it does what it says on the tin, really. And he is funny. I've noticed that in the novels of Hornby's that I've read, and it comes across in the Polysyllabic Spree as well. Hornby has such enthusiasm for books and for reading. And he has all those neuroticisms that everyone has, he just writes about them better than most. How he buys loads of books and never gets around to them. How sometimes he gets distracted by what's on the telly, complains about long-winded passages in books. He gives up on books. There was one particular passage, which I've had stuck in my head for awhile about how he was put off a book by a single line said about a football match. You should read it, it was hilarious.

What I found really wonderful about the book is the variety of books that he shared with us all. Poetry, graphic novels, YA, biographies, sports books, debut novels. He even got quite personal with us when reading books about children with autism. I had a great time with this book and at the end, I had a huge smile on my face and a long list of books to add to my TBR list.

I'm very much looking forward to reading the other book that's been published about his reading behaviours, Housekeeping vs. the Dirt. (and Shakespeare Wrote For Money? I'm not quite sure.)

Other opinions:

things mean a lot
A Work in Progress
Stainless Steel Droppings
Books. Lists. Life.

Read for: 100+ reading challenge


  1. I keep meaning to find Housekeeping too, but never get around to it. Most books about books seem to fall flat for me, but I really enjoyed this one. (Or at least I did in my memory, too lazy to go read my own review.)

  2. I just got the other two books (Shakespeare Wrote for Money AND Housekeeping Vs. the Dirt), but haven't been able to lay my hands on this one yet. I really like Nick Hornby and fully expect to enjoy reading them all as much as you did :-).

  3. Yay, I'm so glad you finally read and enjoyed this! I love the way Nick Hornby writes about reading and books, it's like he's in my head half the time! And some of my favourite books of the past three years have been recommendations from him. Do do read the next two books, you won't regret it!

  4. Yay! Isn't it wonderful? There are 2 other books (both of the ones you mentioned)-I just wish there were more. :)


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