Tag Archives: Nick Hornby

Juliet Naked, by Nick Hornby

Juliet, Naked

Juliet, Naked has a number of themes at its center. Like so much of Hornby’s work, it explores music. He takes things a step further than his music store obsessives in High Fidelity and has a character who is singularly consumed with the discography and life of a single performer. Although Hornby does gently poke some fun at this fellow, it’s not (totally) mean-spirited. Clearly, Hornby can understand how and why someone can want to know all of the tiny details about an artist, even if it all seems a bit silly in the end.

While it seemed early on as if this would be the book’s primary focus, things take a bit of a shift as Hornby moves away from pondering the things that make us so obsessed about certain artists (or things) and more toward intimations on mortality, unconventional middle-age romance (it’s better than it sounds, I swear), celebrity and art. Perhaps a reader needs to be a certain age (I realize with dismay that I am that certain age) to fully enjoy the novel, but I do think that anyone can relate to knowing someone who is so completely obsessed with a certain musician, television show, movie, actor or comic book to the point that it gets a little bit ooky.

I’ve watched and read a lot of works lately where one of the central conceits is a character who has seen time pass them by to the point where they feel obsolete, and it’s oddly resonant (and a little heartbreaking) every single time. Juliet, Naked takes that conceit and shows three separate characters dealing with it in their own individual ways. It’s easy to empathize with Annie, Duncan and Tucker even when they’re doing things that are less than admirable. Truth is, we all have thoughts that are kind of ugly sometimes, and we’ve done things we’re not quite proud of. That doesn’t make us bad people, even though it’s part of who we are.

I’m guessing that Juliet, Naked will be my favorite book of 2009, and I’ll be fretting and worrying that someone will ruin it with a movie version (though the original Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy are all fantastic). It definitely reads cinematically and conversationally, which is oddly a criticism some readers have of Hornby, but it works well with this particular story. I loved the characters for all their foibles and faults, and thought that I had worked out where Hornby would take them, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. It’s one of those books that I was kind of sad to finish, because my journey with the characters had ended. I miss them already.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Thursday Tidbits

Nick Hornby talks about Juliet, Naked and the new movie An Education (which he wrote) with NPR’s Fresh Air.

Rising to the top of the BN sales charts is Sarah Palin’s upcoming memoir, Going Rogue. The pre-order sits at #3 at Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon, they’ve agreed to a $150,000 settlement for deleting 1984 and Animal farm from a young man’s Kindle, as well as his homework.

Simon & Schuster will combine the book with video as they partner with Vook.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Saturday Stuff

Nick Hornby talks about autobiographical elements in Juliet, Naked (via YouTube).

The Mainichi Daily News interviews Haruki Murakami.

The Guardian lists the ten best tattoos in literature.

The “best of” lists continue as The Times selects the 50 best paperbacks of 2009.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Closing tabs on a Sunday morning

Aleksandar Hemon, whose book The Lazarus Project I reviewed earlier, is interviewed at Deutsche Welle.

Prospect interviews Nick Hornby, whose Juliet, Naked
is only nine days from hitting bookstands.

Joe Hill’s awesome Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
was awarded Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel by the British Fantasy Society. We’re big fans of Joe around these parts, and wish our heartiest congratulations to him.

Paste looks at eight books that will be translated to the big screen before the end of 2009.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, comic books, Graphic Novels, movies

Miscellany of the day

The Huffington Post has an excerpt from Nick Hornby’s upcoming novel Juliet, Naked.

Science fiction writers talk about the books that introduced them to the genre at SF Signal.

Author John Curran lists the Top Ten Agatha Christie Mysteries for The Guardian.

Novel-T has some literary T-shirts (the best kind!).

A Harry Potter theme park will open in Orlando, Florida next spring.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Nick Hornby on the liberating effect of MP3 blogs

Nick Hornby, author of the upcoming Juliet, Naked, has a nice piece on MP3 blogs in The Observer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, mp3, music