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Old 14th Nov 2009, 11:17   #1
offtheisland
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Default Nick Hornby: Juliet Naked

Maybe contributors to this site should not read this book - on the other hand maybe it should be compulsory like a kind of set text.
Why is that? Well, this entertaining novel sets about a website called 'Can Anybody Hear Me? with a scythe, ridiculing nerdy contributors who devote their time and it seems their lives to the analysis of the work and doings of a reclusive rock musician Tucker Crowe who apparently has not released anything for years and has not been seen except for a snatched photograph by a fan of an angry looking man who may or may not have been the rock star in question.
On the website Tucker's work is analysed into oblivion, nuances are found which defy belief and every song on his most famous album 'Juliet' are discussed ad nauseam. Such is the way of obsessive fandom and a lesson for us all.
But around all this Hornby builds the story of Annie and Duncan. Duncan is the creator of the website and the world authority - or so he thinks - on all things Tucker Crowe. Annie, his long-suffering partner of fifteen years longs for a different kind of life and is not really persuaded that Tucker Crowe is really as great as Duncan thinks he is. This, despite following Dunan on a Tucker Crowe trail to the States.
It is not giving anything away to say that Tucker eventually shows up in reality in their relationship as this is described in the blurb for the book. After Tucker's record company releases a cut down version of his greatest album - now titled 'Juliet Naked' there is heated debate on the website about how it compares with his previous work and Annie stirs the pot with a contribution of her own. This is the catalyst for Tucker to make his re-appearance in the world but not as one might think a former rock star might make it. This is no come-back tour.
This is a well written and funny book with some great dialogue and if you have ever aspired to actually meet the idol of your dreams, have them stay in your house, talk with them in depth, have them as your friend, then maybe this book will make you think again.
P.S. I wonder if Nick Hornby reads this website?
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Old 14th Nov 2009, 13:25   #2
Beth
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Default Re: Nick Hornby 'Juliet Naked'

Quote:
Originally Posted by offtheisland View Post
Well, this entertaining novel sets about a website called 'Can Anybody Hear Me? with a scythe, ridiculing nerdy contributors who devote their time and it seems their lives to the analysis of the work and doings of a reclusive rock musician Tucker Crowe who apparently has not released anything for years and has not been seen except for a snatched photograph by a fan of an angry looking man who may or may not have been the rock star in question.
It's that sneaky BolaƱo again! Hornby is channeling the first section of 2666.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 1:23   #3
KevinfromCanada
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Default Re: Nick Hornby: Juliet Naked

I thought I'd drag this thread back up to see if anyone would comment.

While I have heard about Hornby (and have respect for his sales figures), I'd never been motivated to read him until a number of comments on my blog recommended How To Be Good.

So I gave him a whirl. It's a novel that, from offtheisland's review of Juliet Naked, seems to be a similar theme -- the troubles of a married couple and their separate attempts to deal with it, which of course creates more tension for the two of them. Full review is here, I'd say I ended up ambivalent. Can't say that the reading experience, which was just fine, motivates me to read any more Hornby.
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