''High Fidelity'' is a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby (also known for ''Literature/AboutABoy''). It was adapted into a [[FilmOfTheBook 2000 film]] directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack. It also served as the basis for a 2006 Broadway musical of the same name.
All incarnations follow Rob Fleming (Gordon in the film), a London (Chicago in the film) record store owner in his 30s whose girlfriend, Laura, has just left him. At the record shop, Championship Vinyl, Rob and his employees Dick and Barry spend their free moments discussing mix-tape aesthetics and constructing "top-five" lists of anything that demonstrates their knowledge of music, movies and pop culture.
Rob, recalling his five most memorable breakups, sets about getting in touch with the former girlfriends. Eventually, Rob's re-examination of his failed relationships and the death of Laura's father bring the two of them back together just as Rob revives his disc jockey career. Realizing that his fear of commitment being a result of his fear of death of those around him, and his tendency to act on emotion are responsible for his continuing desires to pursue new women, Rob makes a symbolic commitment to Laura.
!!Tropes associated with this work:
* AdaptationExpansion: The Kinky Wizards were not in the book (though Rob at one point muses upon the idea of starting a label).
* AdaptationNameChange: Marie [=LaSalle=] in the novel becomes Marie ''de''Salle in the film, probably for euphony more than anything else.
** The protagonist himself, Rob Fleming in the novel, was renamed Rob Gordon for the film.
*** Rob's exes Allison Ashworth and Jackie Allen were renamed as Allison Ashmore and Jackie Alden.
*** Barry's band name is also changed: both in the book and film, they are called Sonic Death Monkey, but in the book they start out as Barrytown (which Rob ridicules Barry for), something that is never mentioned in the film. At the night of the gig, Barry mentions the names Kathleen Turner Overdrive and Barry Jive and the Uptown Five in the film, and the names the Futuristics and Breakbeat in the book, for no apparent reason.
* AlliterativeName: Allison Ashworth and Laura Lydon.
* AsideGlance: In the movie, Rob talks to the audience frequently.
** This happened in the book, too in a sense; occasionally, Rob would take a moment to personally address the reader.
* BasementDweller: In the novel, Rob is going to the cinema with his parents and sees one of these (whom he dubs The Most Pathetic Man in the World or TMPMITW), and is [[YourApprovalFillsMewithShame terrified]] when he seems to offer Rob a nod suggesting he recognizes a kindred spirit.
* BiggerIsBetterInBed: Played with near the end of the novel; after Rob spending much of the novel worrying about whether Ray is better in bed than him, Laura finally tells him that it doesn't really matter who was better in bed and he should stop making such a big deal out of it - but then appends that she wishes Rob's penis was as big as Ray's.
* ButtMonkey: Rob.
* TheCameo: BruceSpringsteen appears as an apparition to Rob in the movie.
* ComicalOverreacting: Barry does this a lot to opinions on music he disagrees with.
** He insults a customer repeatedly for "offending [him] with his terrible taste."
** He calls it "bullshit" when Dick says he prefers the Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [[CoverVersion cover]] of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" to the original by the Righteous Brothers. When Rob defends Dick's opinion as a subjective preference, Barry calls the record store a fascist regime.
** He called Rob's top five track one side ones "pussy" for only including one relatively new song among a list of more well-known classics and asked how someone with no interest in music could run a record store.
* CringeComedy: Features a fair amount of it, especially in the book.
* CulturalTranslation: The adaptation.
* DateRape: Penny says that her having sex with Chris Thomson when she was sixteen (immediately after Rob had broken up with her) wasn't too far from this trope.
* DawsonCasting: Only the flashbacks where John Cusack plays the older teenage version of himself.
** In the flashbacks where, in the book, Rob was about thirteen, he is played by [[DrakeAndJosh Drake Bell]].
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: In both novel and film, Barry chewing out a middle-aged customer for ''daring'' to ask if the shop has a copy of "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by StevieWonder really sets out what an obnoxious superior JerkAss he is.
* FanHater: InUniverse, the protagonists treat people who enjoy music they don't like with disdain, and sincerely believe that a person's tastes in books, films, music etc. is actually ''more'' important than their personality. Rob is forced to eat his words in the novel when Laura introduces Rob to a colleague of hers whom he likes very much, and then shows him the colleague's record collection, which is uniformly terrible.
* FlatCharacter: Barry is a much shallower character in the film than in the book. In the book he's an obnoxious tosspot, but also extremely lonely, and bitter as a consequence. In the film he's played by Creator/JackBlack.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted; [[spoiler: Laura]] gets an abortion, but it's handled very realistically and if anything makes her more, rather than less, sympathetic.
* AGoodNameForARockBand: Sonic Death Monkey, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five and Kathleen Turner Overdrive.
** Also Kinky Wizards (the band of the punks who shoplifted in Rob's shop earlier).
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Though they never feature directly in the narrative, several RealLife musicians pop up in passing (Marie [=LaSalle=] slept with a famous American singer-songwriter whose name isn't specifically mentioned, the bands Suede, The Auteurs and Saint Étienne wanted to put up posters in the shop etc.).
* IndulgentFantasySegue: A couple in a row, dealing with how Rob ''wants'' to deal with Ian. These culminate in [[spoiler:a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown where ''Dick'' throws the first punch and the fight ends with Ian's head crushed under a air conditioner window-unit]].
* InformedAbility: Barry and Rob (two characters who spend their entire lives listening to records) both observe that the Kinky Wizards are exceptionally talented. The audience might disagree on the strength of the brief snippet from their demo that Barry plays in the shop.
* InLoveWithLove: Rob, who openly speculates that spending more or less his entire life listening to pop songs about love and relationships inspired this mindset in him, constantly seeking out new, exciting relationships rather than simply learning to be contented with the perfectly good, stable relationship he already has.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Rob can be very self-obsessed. He even admits that going over bad relationships won't be good for the women but will at least help him. Laura calls him out on this repeatedly at the end of the novel.
* ItsPopularNowItSucks: In-universe - this is the guys' standard; Barry calls Rob's picks for [[TopTenList Top Five "Track Ones/Side Ones"]] "very ''pussy''" for only including ''one'' semi-obscure MassiveAttack song. Barry's probably the worst of them in this regard.
* KavorkaMan: Downplayed in Rob's case: he fully expects the reader to be baffled as to how, in spite of the fact that he is grumpy, moody, runs a failing business, hangs out with his two employees who are even more pathetic than him and spends his life obsessing about vinyl records, he has nevertheless had sex with seventeen women in the course of his thirty-odd years.
* LargeHam: JackBlack as Barry. "'''A COSBY SWEATAHHH!'''"
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: At one point, Liz accuses Rob of being so [[ItsAllAboutMe self-absorbed]] that he thinks of himself like the protagonist of a story in which everyone else is a supporting character. Rob muses that surely ''everyone'' thinks of their lives this way.
* LighterAndSofter: The film is much more overtly comedic and less mean-spirited than the novel.
* TheLoinsSleepTonight: In the book, Rob worries about this happening immediately prior to having sex with Marie (it doesn't). He seems to be periodically afflicted with it shortly after getting back together with Laura, owing to his insecurity about how he compares to Ray.
* LondonTown: In the book.
* LoserProtagonist: Rob, by his own admission.
* LoveRevelationEpiphany: Discussed. Rob thinks about how he tends to look at someone differently after finding out they're interested in him.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Played with:
** In the book, Rob admits that he often imagines that future girlfriends will "save" him and help him to fix all his problems, although this is never the case.
** Deconstructed in the case of Charlie. When he was going out with her Rob thought she was an example of this trope, an exotic, free-spirited intellectual who would bring Rob out of himself and who "ruined" him by breaking up with him, but when he meets her years later he realizes that she is in fact incredibly shallow, pretentious and narcissistic.
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: Mostly regarding disagreements of musical opinion. Taken one step further by Barry, who compiles a ''questionnaire'' about music, films etc. to present to women he's interested in going out with, to make sure they are suitably compatible beforehand. Naturally, none of the women in question take kindly to this.
* MoodWhiplash: In the space of a single sentence. "I go for a drink with Liz and she bitches about Ray the whole evening, which is great; and then Laura's dad dies, and everything changes."
* NeverMyFault: Rob is very quick to tell us about mitigating circumstances in breakups and why he isn't to blame.
* NoFourthWall: Rob continuously addresses the camera in the film. This was the way that Stephen Frears and John Cusack decided to include the massive amounts of very important and integral narration of the book.
* NostalgicNarrator: Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight.
* PosterGalleryBedroom: Both the shop and Rob's flat are both decorated as such. The first thing Rob thinks about after Laura breaks up with him is getting the emblem of a record label painted on a wall in his flat.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "WHAT ''FUCKING'' IAN GUY?!!"
* RaceLift: Marie in the film; she was said to resemble Susan Dey in the book, but is played by Lisa Bonet in the film. What's particularly amusing is that Dick's description of what she looks like in the film is identical to his description in the book, except that he appends "except, you know, black" to the end of it in the former case.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Downplayed in the novel. After getting back together with Rob, Laura repeatedly tells Rob all of the things that are wrong with how he's living his life, but it's because she loves him and hates to see him squandering his potential.
* SeinfeldianConversation: About half of the dialogue in the shop, especially between Dick and Barry.
* ShoutOut: ''Several'' when Rob, Dick, and Barry discuss music (since they work at a record store, this is rather frequent).
** The book is laden with music shout-outs from start to finish. It includes many of Rob's music-related top five lists, with titles like "Top Five ElvisCostello Songs," "Top Five Best Side One Track Ones," and "Top Five Floor-fillers at The Groucho."
* StealthPun: The title obviously refers to high fidelity sound systems. However, there is also 'infidelity' in the book, with Rob cheating on Laura. Also counts as FridgeBrilliance once you realise.
* StrawFeminist: Liz isn't too far off this (but then, Rob is an UnreliableNarrator to some extent).
* TakeThatAudience: After listing the four worst things he'd done to Laura, Rob challenges the reader, before judging him, to list the worst things they've done to their partners, ''especially'' if the partners don't know about them:
-->Finished? OK, who's the arsehole now?
* TechMarchesOn: Although [=CDs=] were present in the novel (published in 1995), the film features them much more prominently. In spite of this, however, both novel and film are essentially about vinyl purists, so vinyls occupy pride of place irrespective of technological advances.
* TextualCelebrityResemblance: Several examples in the book. A woman once said that Rob looked a bit like Peter Gabriel, while Marie [=LaSalle=] is described as resembling Susan Dey (see RaceLift above).
* [[TopTenList Top Five List]]
* UnreliableNarrator: Rob's memories of his exes are very skewed and biased, most especially in the case of Charlie. He eventually realizes this himself.
* TheWindyCity: In [[TheFilmOfTheBook the movie]].
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Rob thinks this about Barry, and he's not far wrong.