Here are selected quotes from High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.
- "What came first - the music or the misery? Did I listen to music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person? People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture or violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands - literally thousands - of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss. The unhappiest people I know, romantically speaking, are the ones who like pop music the most; and I don't know whether pop music has caused this unhappiness, but I do know that they've been listening to the sad songs longer than they've been living the unhappy lives." (24-25)
- "You see those pictures of people in Pompeii and you think, how weird: one quick game of dice after your tea and you're frozen, and that's how people remember you for the next few thousand years. Suppose it was the first game of dice you've ever played? Suppose you were only doing it to keep your friend Augustus company? Suppose you'd just at that moment finished a brilliant poem or something? Wouldn't it be annoying to be commemorated as a dice player?" (25)
- "I would go so far as to say that TMPMITW's smile has become one of my all-time top-five low points, the other four of which temporarily escape me. I know I'm not as pathetic as the most pathetic man in the world (Did he spend last night in an American recording artist's bed? I very much doubt it.); the point is that the difference between us is not immediately obvious to him, and I can see why." (141)
- "It seems to me that if you place music (and books, probably, and films, and plays, and anything that makes you feel) at the center of your being, then you can't afford to sort out your love life, start to think of it as the finished product. You've got to pick at it, keep it alive and in turmoil, you've got to pick at it and unravel it until it all comes apart and you're compelled to start all over again. Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship." (169)
- "When Laura's here, though... I wouldn't go so far as to say she actively like my parents, but she certainly thinks that parents generally are a good thing, and that therefore their little quirks and idiocies are there to be loved, not exposed." (296)
- "Barry, you're over thirty years old. You owe it to yourself and to your friends and to your mum and dad not to sing in a group called Sonic Death Monkey." (303)
- "I play 'Got to Get You off My Mind' by Solomon Burke, and everyone has a go, just out of duty, even though only the best dancers would be able to make something of it, and nobody in the room could claim to be among the best dancers, or even among the most average. When Laura hears the opening bars she spins round and grins and makes several thumbs-up signs, and I start to compile in my head a compilation tape for her, something that's full of stuff she's heard of, and full of stuff she'd play. Tonight, for the first time ever, I can sort of see how it's done." (323) - Final Lines