Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review of the Day: Juliet, Naked



What happens when an idol turns out to be a normal, middle-aged person with plenty of ordinary problems of his own? Nick Hornby answers this question with charm and wit in Juliet, Naked, a novel about three people whose lives are turned inside out by one man’s mania for a reclusive rock star.

Duncan and Annie have been together for 15 years, putting on a brave front as a small-time academic and rinky-dink museum curator in the cultural backwater of seaside Gooleness. The dominating feature of their tepid relationship has always been Duncan’s fixation with Tucker Crowe, a late-‘70s, early-‘80s American rock star whose album Juliet is considered – at least by the 15 or so remaining, frenetic fans – to be the be all and end all of break-up albums.

When Crowe’s record company releases a CD of the demo tracks for Juliet, the “Croweologists” go wild over the first new material from their hero in the twenty-plus years since he cancelled a tour and abruptly retired. Annie revolts, setting into motion a series of romantic, almost plausible events that finally knock her and Duncan out of their rut.

As always, Hornby’s take on obsessive fans is spot on. Using Annie as the lead character brings freshness to these themes and makes this a particularly appealing Hornby choice for his female readers.


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10 comments:

Mrs. B. said...

I thought this was a fun read especially on a long flight. Not his best but still better than some of his last books. Here's my review:
http://theliterarystew.blogspot.com/2010/07/juliet-naked.html

bermudaonion said...

I keep reading great reviews of Hornby's work and I'm convinced that I need to try it. This book sounds like fun to me.

Rose City Reader said...

Mrs B -- Thanks for the link. I'll add it.

Bermuda -- Hornby is a favorite of mine. I particularly enjoyed this one because of the female protagonist.

王志陳雅竹豪 said...

良好的開端,已是成功的一半。..................................................

Shan said...

I pick up Nick Hornby's books each time they come out. I thought he did a great job with this one, though not my favourite. But I think his characters were spot on and felt very real.

Bybee said...

I like his nonfiction much more than his fiction, but I'm happy to have this one on the TBR shelf.

Marie said...

I'm glad to hear this was a female-friendly Hornby. I always think of him as Lad Lit!

Valerie said...

I love Hornby's essays on books, and just now am finally reading one of his novels. "About a Boy" is good so far. Seems like this one might be worth reading, too!

Michael5000 said...

I found this one quite charming.

Amanda said...

Hi! I've linked your post to mine, and feel free to link yours back. :) Funny how many of us listened the audio version of this one.

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