Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
I’ve reviewed at least one other book by Nick Hornby on here (see: Funny Girl) and I’ve also read a few others of his books – so I can safely say that he’s quickly becoming one of my favourite go-to ‘I can’t be bothered to read anything else right now’ authors.
I didn’t find Juliet, Naked particularly great, all in all, I thought the story was a little bit odd, and it just didn’t appeal to me as much as his other novels that I have read. The narrative follows a woman by the name of Annie, who has a long-term relationship with a guy that is almost creepily obsessed with a reclusive rock star by the name of Tucker Crowe.
Madness ensues as Annie gets in touch with the rock star through her obsessive boyfriend’s online forum, which he holds with other massive Tucker fans. All in all, very Tumblr – in fact, it reminds me a lot of the Phandom (which is the fans of the popular British YouTubers Dan and Phil, for those of you who don’t know).
I did enjoy some aspects of this novel: namely the characters. Although Duncan was extremely annoying, I really enjoyed reading about Annie and her relationship, and how she moves on from her past throughout the course of the novel. Also, it’s Nick Hornby, so this novel, although not really carrying a strong moral to it or any depth, was extremely easy to read and very fast paced.
What I didn’t like, however, was the overarching plot. It just felt surreal to me, having a random woman randomly becoming friends with a reclusive ex-rock star from the eighties, without much effort being involved. Lots of Nick Hornby books seem to focus around relationships where either both or one of the halves are unhappy, so it’s becoming a bit of a headache to just read about those every time I want to read his novels.
In summation, I ended up giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. If you want an easy read, something that won’t take up much time and might help you feel like you’re doing something at least slightly productive with your evening, then I would recommend this. However, if you want to start reading more Nick Hornby, then this isn’t the place to start, as I feel like it’s definitely the weakest work by him that I’ve read so far.
It is being made into a film, however – so if you do read this book and end up liking it, then you’ve got that to look forward to as well!