Prologue EWAN: I said goodbye to Charley and left the workshop around p.m. It was a Friday afternoon in the middle. AND THEN THERE WERE SHOTS Everybody ran, ducked, hid, tucked themselves tight. Pressed our lips to the pavement and prayed the boom, followed by. Get news about Literary Fiction books, authors, and more. A Long Way Down is the story of what happens next, and of what doesn’t.”. “Time’s stealthy tread, its unseen ability to heal some wounds while inflicting others, gives Nick Hornby’s darkly comic new novel, A Long.
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A LONG WAY DOWN. Written by Jack Thorne. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Draft Date: (corrected draft). Developed in association with Film4. A Newbery Honor Book A Coretta Scott King Honor Book A Printz Honor Book A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner for Young Adult Literature Longlisted for. Read A Long Way Down Online Book PDF. In his eagerly awaited fourth novel, New York Times-bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of .
Not once did I read a newspaper report, which convinced me that the deceased was off the old trolley. The rights to his first novel had just been bought for an undisclosed sum by Stephen Spielberg. He was found hanging from a beam in his stables by a member of his staff.
Look at the statistics. There are lots and lots of factors that push people over the edge; none of these factors are likely to make you feel anything but fucking miserable. But two years ago Martin Sharp was a different person. I still had my job. I still had a wife. What would the headline have been if I had gone over?
Is it strictly scientific? Does the mind really wobble up and down in the head like some sort of fish-scale, according to how loopy you are? Wanting to kill myself was an appropriate and reasonable response to a whole series of unfortunate events that had rendered life unlivable.
Well, I happen to be one of those rare individuals who believe that what went on with Mummy and Daddy had nothing to do with me screwing a fifteen-year-old. Well, OK, not literally literally. I knew where my life was, just as you know where money goes when you piss it away. What would I be leaving behind? I just felt very stupid, and very angry.
How could I? In the end, Matty was going to cost them a lot more than they were costing me. I was only paying for a night, and they were going to pay for the rest of his life.
I could have had loads of kids, as far as they knew, so I left it there. They came around six, and these two young fellas wheeled him out. Then I wept and wept, for about an hour. I watched the television for a while, and I did have one or two glasses of sherry, because I knew it would be cold out. I waited at the bus stop for ten minutes, but then I decided to walk.
Knowing that you want to die makes you less scared. Although then, of course, I found myself worrying about being attacked but not murdered — left for dead without actually being dying. But no one attacked me. A couple of people wished me a Happy New Year, but that was about all.
And I started to go through all the other options, but none of them were any good. I wanted to be found by a stranger. And then I saw Martin, right over the other side of the roof. I hid in the shadows and watched him. And he was just sitting on the ledge, dangling his feet, looking down, taking nips out of a little hip flask, smoking, thinking, while I waited. I know it was his step-ladder, but I needed it.
I never tried to push him. I just went up to him and put my hand through the wire and tapped him on the shoulder.
I only wanted to ask him if he was going to be long. He gave me a fag, and he told me his name was Bong, and when I asked him why he was called Bong he said it was because he always smoked his weed out of a bong. And I went, Does that mean everyone else here is called Spliff?
But he was just, like, no, that bloke over there is called Mental Mike. And that one over there is called Puddle. And that one over there is Nicky Turd. But the ten minutes I spent talking to Bong made history. Well, not history like 55BC or Not historical history, unless one of us goes on to invent a time machine or stops Britain from being invaded by Al-Qaida or something.
Because before he started chatting me up I was just about to go home, and Maureen and Martin would be dead now, probably, and…. And I thought, not with you, stoner-brain. And he went, because I can see the pain and desperation in your eyes.
I just went, Oh, really? And I was like, What happens upstairs? This is Toppers House, man. In this moment, do you think he is doing the right thing? Through flashbacks, Will shares memories of his brother. What do each of these memories reveal about their relationship? When the first ghost enters the elevator, Reynolds includes a time stamp at the top of the page.
How much time elapsed between the first stop and the bottom floor? Why do you think Reynolds includes these indications of the passage of time? Do they inform or complicate your understanding of the text?
How does Will recognize the first ghost that enters the elevator? What message do you think he is trying to convey with his words and actions? What questions does she have for Will? What message do you think she is trying to share with him?
Why did Uncle Mark start dealing drugs? Why did he keep dealing?
How did he die? Why do you think Uncle Mark wants Will to act out what will happen when he follows the rules? What message is he trying to convey with his words and actions? Does Will understand what his father is trying to show him?
Frick is the only ghost to enter the elevator whom Will does not know. How is he related to the story? Why do you think he visits Will? The last person who enters the elevator is Shawn. What does Will tell his brother? How does Shawn respond? What rule do both brothers break? Do you think Shawn wants Will to avenge his death by shooting Riggs? Explain your answer. The last words in the book are a question.
How do you think Will answers this question? Where do you think Will will be five years after the end of the book?
Extension Activities 1. Research the epidemic of gun violence in America, specifically looking at gang-related gun violence note: the Chicago Tribune has excellent special reporting on gun violence in Chicago. Try to identify some of the root causes of the epidemic. What could be done to solve this problem? Long Way Down explores the perpetuation of a cycle of violence and the theme of revenge. Will is fifteen years old and facing the challenge of making adult decisions that may have lasting consequences.
Think about a time when you were faced with a moral dilemma. What choice did you make? Write a narrative poem or narrative essay about your own experience. Because poems often include meter and sound devices such as alliteration, onomatopoeia, repetition, assonance, and rhyme—including internal and slant rhyme , we often talk about the musicality of poems.