Book Review: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby

Author: Nick Hornby
Title: Juliet, Naked
Publication Info: Riverhead Hardcover (2009)
ISBN: 1594488878


This novel is about three people: Duncan an English man-child obsessed with an American singer/songwriter who abruptly quit show business in the 1980s, his long-suffering girlfriend Annie who is realizing that she may never have children, and the retired musician himself Tucker Crowe who is trying to raise his six-year old son after failing to be a good father to four other children.  Annie & Duncan break up after Duncan’s infidelity and at the same time a review Annie posts on Duncan’s internet message board attracts the attention of Tucker.  Annie & Tucker develop an online correspondence and soon – surprise – he has reason to visit England.

This novel has a lot of the same themes of Hornby’s other works – music, geeky obsessions, muddled relationships, parenting, and recognizing one’s own mortality.  I really couldn’t get into to at first because the characters were annoying me especially since they kept talking about a fictional musician.  80 pages in, when Tucker finally appears, I started to warm up to it.  For all his flaws, I like Tucker for his relationship with his young son (albeit if that son doesn’t seem to act 6 years old).  But then the book just falls apart with far too many unlikely happenings and the characters not responding in a real way but more like sitcom characters.

Yes, I’m harsh on this book.  It is an entertaining, quality brain candy read.  On the other hand I know Hornby is capable of much better.

Rating: **


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