How to Be Good

How to Be Good

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
How to Be Good is a story for our times -- a humorous but uncompromising look at what it takes, in this day and age, to have the courage of our convictions. In his third novel, Nick Hornby, whom The New Yorker named "the maestro of the male confessional", has reinvented himself as Katie -- the consummate liberal, urban mom -- a doctor from North London whose world is being turned on its ear by the outrageous spiritual transformation of her husband, David.

How to Be Good has the ironic, funny, startlingly accurate take on our modern selves and our modern world that has become Hornby's turf as a chronicler of our popular culture -- but this time he tackles it all with more richness and depth, and carries his readers beyond the comic confines of the novel to a bigger truth about themselves. It's a story about how to wreck your marriage, how to help the homeless, how not to raise your kids, how to find religion . . . and how to be good.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2001
ISBN: 9781573221931
Branch Call Number: HORN
Characteristics: 305 p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 15, 2014

For me it this book can best be summed up with this quote:
"I just seemed to run out of steam somewhere along the line. I ended up disappointed with my work, and my marriage, and myself, and I turned into someone who didn't know what to hope for." If that speaks to you go ahead and pick up this book.

CPL_Laura Dec 07, 2013

How does one go about being a good person? Nick Hornby hilariously addresses that question when David, a formerly cynical newspaper columnist morphs into an excessively altruistic do-gooder, whose new lifestyle alienates his wife and daughter. Narrated by the wife, who likes to think that since she's a doctor, she's a good person, How to Be Good starts off a bit slow, but really takes off when DJ GoodNews enters the picture. A self-professed healer, GoodNews appears to remove David's back pain, and then convinces him to transform his life. David's children are angry when he tells them to give away some of their toys, and his wife is appalled when he wants to open their home to the homeless. Can a marriage survive such goodness? Or will David totally alienate everyone his life, as DJ Goodnews has already done in his own? How to Be Good is amusing and also addresses serious questions. (Just be patient with the first 50 pages or so, as it doesn’t really hit its stride until DJ GoodNews shows up.) A great book discussion title. Read-Alike: Hornby's American counterpart is Tom Perrotta.

Jul 16, 2012

A story about what happens to a 40-something lady in England when she perhaps is having a mid-life crisis, she is wrecking her marriage with an affair, not raising your kids properly, finding religion and all the while trying to be good. Follow her journey through mid-life and see where her decisions take her and how it affects her and her family members and what she learns about them and herself.

May 17, 2012

Considering the content, a family drama, this book is a surprising page turner. I wound up finishing the final 100 pages, at the expense of other responsibilities, on my day off, just to see how it would end.

Nov 14, 2010

One of my faves...
Love Nick Hornby. :)

BobLeDrew Nov 15, 2009

Great novel by one of my favorite writers. A little unrealistic at times, but that engaging Hornby voice is there and there's some thinking in here about deep questions.

Sep 09, 2008

Book club.


Add a Quote
Jan 12, 2014

So there we have it. I get up in the morning determined to do something approximating to the right thing, and with in two hours find something to feel guilty about.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SCL

To Top