super-depressing. why am i reading this? hornby's tendency to be really hard on his male characters sometimes seems like honesty, but here it just feels like the one guy is a punching bag. maybe it's me, but i can't help thinking hornby loathes his own character, which makes the book less interesting to me. i guess i want to see the character's flaws in the larger context of his humanity, to have some compassion for someone i might not like. i appreciate a light touch, but i'm bored (and here actually pained) by caricature, if that makes sense.