By Nick Hornby

Bestselling writer Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “Fever Pitch,” “About a Boy,” “Juliet, Naked”) is a virtuoso at love long past unsuitable. In his new brief tale, “Everyone’s interpreting Bastard,” Hornby paints a wincingly comedian photo of simply how messy smooth relationships can develop into, as his characters hit pleasant new lows of cruelty, distress, and pettiness.

Newspaper columnist Elaine Harris has regularly written approximately her lifestyles with husband Charlie. Her editor and her legions of readers expect complete disclosure from her, yet what no one—least of all Charlie—anticipates, just a week after the couple choose to finish their marriage, is the rate and inventiveness with which she starts off to aim him within the court docket of public opinion. On Monday morning, it’s a smirk via a forgettable former lover that first clues him in that something’s fallacious. Then, sooner than he’s settled in at his table, one other co-worker salutes Charlie with the name of Elaine’s new column: “Bastard!” a short payment on-line leads him to the column, the subtitle leaving no doubt as to what he’s in for: “Life with an Ex. He’s long gone yet no longer Forgotten.” Charlie’s in simple terms wish is that Elaine gets bored and abandon the weekly column—a colourful litany of his mess ups as a companion, father, breadwinner, and lover—or that it won’t seize on. yet quickly sufficient it’s a multimedia feeding frenzy, and everyone’s studying Bastard! And for Charlie, that’s a bitch.

Only a storyteller like Hornby—who’s given us such a lot of unforgettable novels of comedy and heartbreak—could conceive of a standard man attempting to live on an ex’s wrath long gone viral. Witty and clever, outlandish and human, his most modern rollicking account of love’s fallout might be instructive: occasionally nobody wins. Sorry, Charlie.


Nick Hornby is the writer of the memoir “Fever Pitch” and 6 novels, together with “High Fidelity,” “About a Boy,” and, so much lately, “Juliet, Naked.” he's additionally the writer of “Songbook,” a finalist for a countrywide e-book Critics Circle Award for tune feedback, and editor of the short-story assortment “Speaking with the Angel.” His screenplay for “An schooling” used to be nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in North London.

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With sex, I mean. If you really want to. Faces and noises and … and demands. But it takes a very unkind person to do it. ” “Her readers. They’ve turned. You should read the comments online. ” Charlie had never dared to look at the comments underneath Elaine’s articles, but when he got home later, he drank them in. Every now and again someone would say something cruel and mean about him, and initially he understood the sentence “This comment has been removed by the moderator,” which appeared several times on each page, to be sparing him even worse abuse.

He gave himself a couple of minutes, took deep breaths to quell the panic, and clicked on the link. Just in case one or two dimwitted people still might not have been able to link him with the eponymous villain, the brilliant new weekly column called BASTARD! had a helpful subheading: “LIFE WITH AN EX,” it read. ” There was even a logo, as if the column were already a national institution: a cartoon cad, all cravat, mustache, and twinkling, lascivious eyes. He scanned the column quickly. He recognized nearly all of the crimes she was accusing him of, all of the minor incompetencies connected with child care.

Well, they’ve found someone to write a column called Bitch. My ex-husband. ” “Yes. So. We’re Bastard and Bitch. ” “Oh, you know …” And then for a few moments she was unable to go on. Charlie could hear her trying to stifle sobs. ” she said eventually. * * * At work that afternoon, there was crisis after crisis, meeting after meeting. Voices were raised, and it was almost certainly all going to end with someone getting fired. It wasn’t going to be Charlie, though. He was too smart to get lured into that.

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Everyone's Reading Bastard by Nick Hornby

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