A long way down tells us the story of 4 people that have the same purpose… to commit suicide by jumping from the top of the Toppers House.
These four people are Martin Sharp, Maureen, Jess and JJ. Martin is a TV presenter whose wife left him because he had an adventure with a fifteen-year-old girl. Maureen is a housewife who has been looking after his mentally handicapped son for years and now wants to end his own life. Jess is a young girl with emotional problems who has lost his boyfriend because of her behaviour. J. J. is an American rock player who has recently split with both his band and his girlfriend loosing all hope.
They have each gone to jump to their death, but find that not being alone, they are not able to complete the act of suicide. So they start talking about their frustrating lives, finding another point of view and… a kind of friendship. Although each of them must still deal with the underlying causes of their suicidal tendencies, the four will start a small adventure searching how to sort out their lives together.
This book is written from the perspective of each of the four characters, which is a very original way to write. Curiously, this is a comedy, because the characters and situations are in fact funny. Nevertheless, under the jokes Hornby tells us a story of people who after missing their goals in life start looking for new ones and also some things about love.
In short, this is an excellent book to read in any boring moment but it also appears to be addictive when you start knowing the characters and their lives.