High Fidelity (1995) is a novel by British author Nick Hornby. It has sold over a million copies and was adapted into a 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. In 2003 the novel was listed on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.
Rob Fleming is a London record store owner in his mid-thirties whose girlfriend, Laura, has just left him. At the record shop — named 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.
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 back together. Their relationship is cemented by the launch of a new purposefulness to Rob’s life in the revival of his disc jockey career.
Also, realizing that his fear of commitment (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.