So you want to write your very own novel? - donkeytime.orgHornby means us to take his title literally: How can we be good, and what does that mean? However, quite apart from demanding that his readers scrub their souls with the nearest available Brillo pad, he also mesmerizes us with that cocktail of wit and compassion that has become his trademark. The result is a multifaceted jewel of a book: a hilarious romp, a painstaking dissection of middle-class mores, and a powerfully sympathetic portrait of a marriage in its death throes. It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry as we watch David forcing his kids to give away their computers, drawing up schemes for the mass redistribution of wealth, and inviting his wife's most desolate patients round for a Sunday roast. But that's because How to Be Good manages to be both brutally truthful and full of hope.
So you want to write your very own novel?
Think about the books you love, the ones you really lose yourself in. It might not be anything genre-specific that you love, but a certain voice, or type of story, or kinds of characters. Write what you love. Do me a favor — right now, today, start a list of all your crazy obsessions, the things that get your heart pumping, that wake you up in the middle of the night. Put it above your desk and use it to guide you, to jumpstart your writing each and every day. She lives in Vermont with her family. Visit her website or connect with her on Twitter.
You can't help but get along with Nick Hornby's books. They look you straight in the eye and, in voices that never strain for effect, tell you likeable truths about lives that are, if you're honest, probably not unlike your own. They are confessional without being creepy; funny but never juvenile; clever but not calculated.
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Questions and Topics for Discussion
It centers on characters Katie Carr, a doctor, and her husband, David Grant. The pair go about this by nominally convincing people to give their spare bedrooms to the homeless, but as their next scheme comes around, "reversal" being good to people one has not been good to in the past , this proves to be fruitless and thus David gives up his strivings and his plans for a book on how to be good, appropriately named "How to be Good.
She recycles. But who could blame her? He has become kind, soft-spoken, and earnest. He is also the editor of the short story collection Speaking with the Angel. Forster Award. He lives in north London. Share: Share on Facebook.