Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby

Well, I'm snuffling with a cold here, and it's horrible stitching and sneezing - methinks I'll need to wash my current WIPs ... so I've been doing some more reading. This one was Nick Hornby's newest, Juliet, Naked.

Product Description (from Amazon)
Nick Hornby returns to his roots - music and messy relationships - in this funny and touching new novel which thoughtfully and sympathetically looks at how lives can be wasted but how they are never beyond redemption. Annie lives in a dull town on England's bleak east coast and is in a relationship with Duncan which mirrors the place; Tucker was once a brilliant songwriter and performer, who's gone into seclusion in rural America - or at least that's what his fans think. Duncan is obsessed with Tucker's work, to the point of derangement, and when Annie dares to go public on her dislike of his latest album, there are quite unexpected, life-changing consequences for all three. Nick Hornby uses this intriguing canvas to explore why it is we so often let the early promise of relationships, ambition and indeed life evaporate. And he comes to some surprisingly optimistic conclusions.

Another Hornby book where the men are always slightly inadequate - and the women who settle for that. And what's wrong with that? It's certainly a better book than his last three, and there were some laugh out loud moments - Gooleness, where Annie and Duncan live is so lacking in culture "it didn't even have a Waterstone's" - yes, I definitely know places like that ...

Being a forty something living with a person who can be obsessive, this book probably resonated more with me than it would with people who live busier or more glamorous lives ;o) And the sadness that overlaid the book was that wistful sadness that comes with the eternal optimism that things will get better ... which appeals to the Pollyanna in me...

My only criticism is about one of the sub plots - I can see it working in a film version, but describing Northern Soul moves on paper didn't really work.

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