Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a novel by Nick Hornby, is about the love and life struggles of Rob Fleming. Rob is a 35-year-old male who lives in London. Rob is a thirty-five year old man who owns Championship Vinyl, a record store that’s in trouble. He also has a history of bad relationships and settling down. Rob recently began dating Laura. But as the book opens, it is revealed that Laura had just moved on from Rob. Rob mentions his top five memorable breakups. Laura, however, is not included in this list. Laura is a big part of Rob’s life, as he explains all the things that went wrong in past relationships. Rob feels insecure and he’s analyzing his mistakes and past relationships. Rob can’t seem to move on from his past relationships, whether it be with his previous girlfriends or Laura. Rob’s current love life may be connected to his record-store performance. Rob reminisces a lot about his old DJ days. In the beginning, he didn’t like his two coworkers but couldn’t work out a solution. Just like he was having problems with Laura’s relationship, he took the cowardly route and ended it. Rob’s battle with his self-confidence is an important theme that runs throughout the novel. Rob’s struggle to gain self-confidence is due to a variety of factors, the two most important being that he has been rejected by his past girlfriends and his record store is of poor quality.

Rob Fleming’s character is complex, and one of his most notable traits is his insecurity. In High Fidelity Rob Fleming tells us about his past girlfriends and relationships. Rob looks back on these past relationships before comparing it to the most recent breakup he had with Laura. Rob has experienced a great deal of impact from each of the five most memorable breaksups. The beginning of the book is where he describes why these breakups made him so happy and how the girl affected his life. The struggle for his self-confidence started as soon as he talked to Penny Hardwick. Penny Hardwick is the second on his list. Rob spent a long time trying to touch Penny’s chest while they were dating. He would try and try, but he eventually stopped because he realised he wasn’t going to get anything. Penny began dating Chris Thomson shortly after the breakup. Chris Thomson had the highest number of girlfriends at that time. Chris was able to do what Rob couldn’t after just three weeks. “You got not even a little bit of tit after three months. But I grabbed her within the first seven days.” (Hornby 14.) Rob started to doubt himself from that moment on. I was humiliated and beaten; I was outperformed. It made me feel stupid and smaller. I also felt younger. Rob was embarrassed over what had occurred and about his entire relationship to Penny. It only took one idiot, one big guy, to ruin his confidence. Rob has been affected by this throughout his entire life. He feels like a failure now, and he brings that feeling of failure into his relationships whether they are romantic or not. Mikko, Keskinen, who wrote Single, Long Playing, Compilation, The Formats of Audio, and Amorousness, Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, argues that Rob’s High Fidelity suffers from a lack of commitment or faithfulness when it comes to sound relationships. He is unable to let go of his past, so he brings it into the present. He’s stuck, and he’s afraid to move. Because he fears rejection. Rob has to get over his fear of being rejected in order to really regain self-confidence. But he’s not able to do that because his lack of confidence is keeping him from finding a girlfriend to commit to. Laura, his most recent relationship, has had a huge impact on Rob’s self-confidence. Joanne Knowles’ High Fidelity – A Reader’s Guide claims that Laura is always pushing Rob for growth and development. It is telling that he said this when they met after she left. This shows Rob can’t be independent. His confidence is derived from his relationship with another person. After their breakup, he wants to contact Laura constantly and visit her. Knowles mentions Laura as the one who is pushing the relationship and life forward. Rob doesn’t change because he fears letting go of past relationships and insecurities. Rob’s lack of confidence affects every area of his life from his work at the record store to his friendships and most importantly, his relationship with his girlfriends. Rob’s inability to develop and grow as a person is due to his focus on what others think about him. He is sensitive and therefore cannot build healthy relationships with others. Hornby’s allusion is that Rob is insecure and lacking self-confidence, which is why he is saying that people shouldn’t be worried about what other people think. Focus on the present and forget about the past. Rob is a good example of someone who does this. While we can certainly learn from the past, we shouldn’t allow it to affect our relationships today. He is lacking in self-confidence. When something goes wrong, he blames himself for his failures. His lack of confidence is also due to his inability to accept responsibility for his own problems. Robert Christgau’s Boys will be Men states that Rob, when feeling down, believes he stopped at adolescence. Rob cannot get past this stage of his life. He thinks that he will never be happy again because he can’t forget this time in his past. Rob thinks that his life is over.

Rob’s relationship can be symbolized by his career. For instance, Rob may have felt his career as a Dj was too demanding. He did not think he was capable of living up to Charlie’s high standards. I was never comfortable. I worried that i would never be funny or interesting enough to talk to her ever again (Hornby23). Rob’s career and his relationship can also be linked to the failing record shop and his failed romance with Laura. Rob appeared to think that whatever happened in his relationship, whether it was good or not, was beyond his control. It is about his coworkers Dick & Barry. Dick and Barry both worked part-time for three days per week. However, shortly after my hiring them, they started to show up each day, even on Saturdays. Rob had no intention of having two full-time staff. He has every right to make Dick and Barry work just three days a week, but he doesn’t do anything about it. Instead, he allows him to be miserable as per usual. Rob’s relationship with Laura is a reflection of his unwillingness to work to resolve problems. Either he gets his way or he pouts about it. This can be reflected in his role as store manager. Rob’s tone towards Laura in the relationship is that he does not want to put in any effort in resolving any problems, its either his way or he will pout about it. This can reflect on how he runs his store as manager.

BARRY: You’re getting soft, Rob. It was once that you would have chased Rob out of his shop and down the street.

ROB : “He was right. There was.” It seems so long ago. I’m not able to muster the same level of anger.

Rob does not finish his task of forcing Barry to show respect for customers. Instead, he agrees with Barry. Rob’s insecurity shows up in his store and also in his relationship. Rob wants to know more about Laura’s new companion Ian when she returns to Rob’s apartment for the first since their breakup. There are many things I would like to ask you; do you miss me even a little bit? Do you love me or him? Would you like to be with him and have children with him. (Hornby 106). All of these actions show how the robes’ insecurity affects his thoughts and his behavior.

Rob’s former girlfriends are a big factor in his lack of self-confidence. However, his lack of confidence with his masculinity is even more important. The reader can tell that Rob does not have confidence in himself, or his masculinity. The reader has no confidence in Rob’s ability to be successful. Rob’s records store is a good example. In today’s society, men are generally considered the breadwinners for their families. This gives the men in their relationship a sense security and masculinity. Rob, however, struggles to achieve this goal because of his failing business and inability to earn enough money. Laura, who is a young lawyer, will get all the cash. Rob has been so bad at this that he is still in debt to Laura. It is because of this that he lacks confidence in himself, as he doesn’t feel confident about his masculinity when it comes to the job. Barry Faulk, who wrote Love, Lists and Class, a novel that appears in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, believes these novels are meant to compensate the male experts for their lack of status as tastemakers and icon managers. Rob’s career could have been more successful and he could earn more money but due to his lack self-confidence he does not want to. Rob was a club DJ long before he opened his record shop. It was something that he loved and gave him confidence. Faulk says that Laura encourages passive record store customers to join the community and return to their previous work as club DJs (153). Laura wants Rob’s relationship with music to develop and grow. She thinks that Rob’s self-confidence will increase if he becomes a professional DJ. It will allow him to do both his favorite thing and earn money. Rob is lacking in masculinity, not only because he lacks masculinity at work but also when comparing himself with others. Rob constantly compares his masculinity to that of other men and people. Rob is angry when Laura abandons Rob for Ian. Rob becomes doubtful about himself when he realizes that Ian is their former neighbor. He begins to doubt his own abilities and starts to worry that Laura might be cheating. Rob begins to compare his life with Ian’s. “Ian might be a better speaker than me. Or he may be better at working or doing housework. Or he may be able to save more money. Rob lists all the characteristics in which Ian would be superior to him. He would then explain why Laura would choose Ian. Rob was Laura’s long-term boyfriend for over 3 years. However, when the relationship ended he began to compare himself to other men. Rob is unable to accept who he really is or what he can offer others. He is always trying hard to be something other than who he really is. This is something he never finds satisfactory. He used to be a DJ but quit it and now works at his record shop, Championship Vinyl. This is also not a happy place for him.

Rob struggles to gain self-confidence because of his old girlfriends and the failure of his record store. These are all factors that have played a role in shaping Rob as a man today. Suzanne Moore’s Slipped Discs is a book that, according to Moore, would have been a hit record if it were reissued. It’s a record. This book is full of underlying lessons and themes. The book has many important themes for young people to know, like commitment, trust and self-confidence. Rob is having a difficult time settling in and people of his age group can relate. It is important to know when to stop, to value and respect yourself and your relationships. It is important to trust, communicate with others and enjoy their company. This book represents everything a person might experience at that age and stage in their lives. It’s important to know what can happen when relationships fail and there is a lack in self-confidence. Rob’s lack in self-confidence leads to and causes all of these problems. If Rob could grasp onto the present and let the past go, he would gain a new perspective.


  • arthurmacdonald

    Arthur Macdonald is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been a teaching assistant for 10 years, and has taught middle and high school students in the Atlanta area for the past 5 years.