A quick review, because this was supposed to be back at the library yesterday….I picked this book up at the library despite having certain preconceptions about Nick Hornby’s work. I really liked his non-fiction essays about books (The Polysyllabic Spree, etc.), but I feared that his novels would be way too “male-British-hipster” for my taste). A synopsis of Juliet Naked from Wikipedia, “It tells the story of Annie, the long-suffering girlfriend of obsessed music fan Duncan, and the object of his obsession, fictional reclusive singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe. The plot revolves around the release of Juliet, Naked, the first new Tucker Crowe release in over a decade.” I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. It was very hip, but Hornby’s writing is witty and insightful. I was constantly marking and writing down passages I wanted to remember. One of them was:
“‘You were going that, even though gay men make you sick to your stomach, the idea of gay women you find titillating in the extreme.’…’Oh,’ said Gav. “You’ve heard that before, have you?”
ornby, a straight man, aptly satirizes what I’ve found is sadly an all to common attitude even among enlightened progressive straight men. He also is spot on the money about the obsessive nature of fandom especially on the internet and the idea that some fans of authors, musicians, writers, etc. have that just because they like someone’s work they deserve to know everything about him or her.
Another aspect of Juliet Naked that I liked (that I hadn’t expected to) was the “extras” between chapters. For example their were fake Wikipedia entries about the album Juliet Naked and Tucker Crow. This aspect could have easily be overdone and cheesey, but it works to advance Hornby’s narrative.
Overall I give this book 3 stars and will try more of Hornby’s fiction at some point. Has anyone else read it? Has anyone else read anything lately that they thought they weren’t going to like, but were pleasantly surprised by?