Saturday, November 28, 2009

Juliet Naked

Hornby, Nick. Juliet Naked. NY: Riverhead Books, 2009.

Submitted by R. Stuhr

Nick Hornby follows up his dark novel about suicide (A Long Way Down, 2005) with a more light-hearted novel about the Dickens-reading, retired and reclusive rocker Tucker Crowe, one of his remaining ardent fans, a Croweologist and college instructor Duncan, and Duncan's partner Annie, a museum curator. Duncan and Annie live in the faded seaside town of Gooleness in England. Crowe lives in Pennsylvania with his third wife, and fifth and youngest child Jackson. Crowe's last album, Juliet, is considered the greatest "break-up" album ever recorded. His remaining fans participate in a Crowe chat room parsing out every possible element of the album and attempting to piece together details about Crowe's life. So, when after two decades of silence, the demo version of the songs are released, it is a major event in the world of Crowe devotees. This becomes the pivotal moment in the novel leading inevitably to Duncan and Annie's break-up, to Annie's meeting with Tucker, and to Tucker's acknowledgment of his past mistakes.

A shark's eyeball, pub toilets, northern soul dancing, mistaken identity, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Barnaby Rudge, and medical advice on sex after a heart attack are just a handful of the nuggets awaiting the lucky readers who dip into this latest Nick Hornby novel. I enjoy Nick Hornby very much. My favorite of his novels is still How to Be Good although I thoroughly enjoyed Juliet Naked. There is always something in Hornby's novels that makes me laugh out loud (and that is always a good thing), but at the same time Hornby exposes the ironies, hypocrisies, and quirks of modern middle class society.


Coming soon to Burling Library

Other books by Nick Hornby at Burling:

About A Boy (1998)
Burling 3rd floor PR6058.O689 A64 1998

High Fidelity (1995)
Burling 3rd Floor PR6058.O689 H54 1995

How to Be Good (2001)
Burling 3rd Floor PR6058.O689 H69 2001

A Long Way Down (2005)
Burling 3rd Floor PR6058.O689 L66 2005

Slam (2oo7)
Smith Memorial PR6058.O689 S52 2007


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