New Year's Eve at Toppers' House, North London's most popular suicide spot, And four strangers are about to discover that doing away with yourself isn't quite the private act they'd each expected. Perma-tanned Martin Sharp's a disgraced breakfast TV presenter who had it all - the kids, the wife, the pad, the great career-and wasted it away. Killing himself is Martin's logical and appropriate response to an unliveable life. Maureen has to do it tonight, because of Marty being in the home. He was never able to do any of the normal things kids do - like walk or talk - and loving-mum Maureen can't cope any more. Dutiful Catholic that she is, she's ready to commit the `biggest sin of all'. Half-crazed with heartbreak, loneliness, adolescent angst, seven-Bacardi Breezers and two Special Brews, Jess's ready to jump, to fly off the roof. Finally, there's JJ - tall, cool, American, looks like a rock-star, sometimes thinks he plays his guitar like one - who's weighed down with a heap of problems, and pizza.
Four strangers, who moments before were convinced that they were alone and going to end it all that way, share out the pizza and begin to talk ... Only to find that they have even less in common than first suspected. Funny, sad and deeply moving, Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down is a novel that asks some of the big questions: about life and death, strangers and friendship, love and pain, and whether a group of losers, and pizza, can really see you through a long, dark night of the soul.