This weekend I finished reading High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I’ve seen the movie several times and thought it would a fun read before falling asleep each night, something light and entertaining instead of looking at my iPhone screen.
I’m now going to admit something silly after reading the book that never struck me while watching the movie…
I now understand the double meaning of the title High Fidelity as it relates to both music AND the main character’s relationship issues.
Wow, I feel dim.
While reading the book I became annoyed at the main character Rob always over analyzing his doomed relationships and never noticing that in most instances, he was the reason they fell apart due to his lack of fidelity with his current partner.
Dictionary time – fidelity: faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.
But how does that play into what I know as high fidelity in terms of audio reproduction?
From wikipedia: In the 1950s, audio manufacturers employed the phrase high fidelity as a marketing term to describe records and equipment intended to provide faithful sound reproduction.
Faithful sound. Faithful. I get it now.
I feel as if Nick’s book drove this point home better than the movie did (not surprising). The movie’s best scenes (to me) often take place in the record store, with Jack Black stealing most of the scenes.
Of course, I’m a happily married man who collects records and repairs stereo equipment so naturally I’d identify more with those scenes than those of John Cusack laboring over his relationship status. And when reading the book, I’d want to know more about the record store, Rob’s DJ gigs and his Top 5 everything rather than read him nitpick his first relationship in grammar school. To me, High Fidelity relates to music, not women.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I missed the double entendre of the title from the get go.
I haven’t watched the new series on Hulu yet. Something to add to the list of things to watch when I’m not busying buying records, listening to them or repairing stereo gear.