Friday, January 21, 2011

Juliet, Naked - Book Review

Great. Nick Hornby's latest novel, Juliet, Naked is sure to get me all the wrong kind of Google search hits. Sorry to disappoint anyone who clicked through expecting nekkid pictures of Juliet and got this book review. That's what you get for not refining your search correctly. Also for being a perv.


A quick explanation of the title: the story is about a reclusive singer who releases the demo tapes of his last recorded album, Juliet, as Juliet, Naked. Like The Beatles' Let it Be, Naked. Get it? Okay. Can we concentrate on the novel now?

Tucker Crowe is a reclusive American singer who quit the business in mid-tour, supporting his last album, Juliet and hasn't been heard from since. Rumors about his demise arose and with the Internet a website was started dedicated to all things Tucker Crowe. Crowe comes out of seclusion to comment about an online review posted by Annie, in England, about Juliet, Naked and from there the story and the characters finds their own way.

We're in Hornby territory now, with his love of popular music and what it means to our personal lives and he has some fun with it. He has some fun, too, with the Internet culture and fandom and the overwhelming need to over analyze art and its inspiration. Hornby, a fan of Anne Tyler, is much like Tyler herself: wryly funny and forgiving of his characters, with a sharp eye and talent for a memorable phrase.

A delight.

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