Juliet, Naked – Book Review

Title: Juliet, Naked
Author: Nick Hornby
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 0143144901
Pages: 416 (8.9 hours)
Year: 2009
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: Dunedin Public Library
Rating: 4/5

Plot summary (from The Book Depository):

Annie loves Duncan-or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn’t. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music ten years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life. In doing so, she initiates an e-mail correspondence with Tucker, and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for more out of what they’ve got. Tucker’s been languishing (and he’s unnervingly aware of it), living in rural Pennsylvania with what he sees as his one hope for redemption amid a life of emotional and artistic ruin-his young son, Jackson. But then there’s also the new material he’s about to release to the world: an acoustic, stripped-down version of his greatest album, “Juliet”-entitled, “Juliet, Naked.” What happens when a washed-up musician looks for another chance? And miles away, a restless, childless woman looks for a change? “Juliet, Naked” is a powerfully engrossing, humblingly humorous novel about music, love, loneliness, and the struggle to live up to one’s promise.

Other Books I’ve Read By Author: A Long Way Down; The Polysyllabic Spree

Why I Picked Up This Book: I was browsing the audio books at the library and remembered that I wanted to read this one.

My thoughts:

When I first started this book, I thought it was simply going to be a funny book about a man who is obsessed with a washed-up singer. But this book turned into so much more. Duncan really fell into the background of the story pretty quickly and it became more about his girlfriend Annie and the washed-up singer, Tucker Crowe.

Annie has been in her relationship with Duncan for far too long and is incredibly saddened by the realization that she is never going to have children. Tucker has had too many wives and has too many children – he really only knows his youngest, Jackson. Yet both Annie and Tucker are searching for something. This book is about their journey to find it.

Hornby did a wonderful job writing the character and eliciting empathy for them from the reader.  The audio version was interesting because each of the three main characters – Duncan, Annie, and Tucker – were narrated by different people.  I think this took me into the story more than one consistent narrator would have.

I’m not finding the words I want to accurately describe how this book made me feel, but I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read much Nick Hornby, but I know that music is one of the things people say he writes about best.  After finishing this, I would like to go back and read some of his older books.

Will I Read This Author Again?: Yes

Other Reviews:

  • S. Krishna’s Books
  • (I couldn’t find any others in Google Reader. But I’m sure they must be there. If I missed yours let me know.)

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14 thoughts on “Juliet, Naked – Book Review

  1. Kelly February 4, 2010 / 9:34 am

    I LOVED Juliet, Naked. You might also like About a Boy. High Fidelity’s good, too.


    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:12 pm

      I’ve seen both those movies. I think High Fidelity will be my next Hornby.


  2. Nicole February 4, 2010 / 10:00 am

    I haven’t tread any of his books yet but I have seen a few of the movies. He is on the list of authors that I would like to read eventually.


    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:13 pm

      I’ve seen a lot of the movies. I’d definitely recommend reading The Polysyllabic Spree. Any reader will love it. It’s not fiction but enjoyable.


  3. Bina February 4, 2010 / 10:30 am

    Hornby definitely writes best about music, you have to read his collection “31 songs”, it´s fantastic! I think I tend more towards his non-fiction writing, although I enjoyed half of his fiction (About a boy, A long way down), I didn´t like the other (Slam, High Fidelity) that much. I wonder which category this book would fall into?!


    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:14 pm

      I’ll have to check out 31 songs. For the record, I enjoyed this one much more than A Long Way Down.


  4. Linda February 4, 2010 / 4:04 pm

    I have this book at home and hope to read it in the next couple of weeks. Great review.


    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:16 pm

      Let me know what you think.


  5. Sabine February 4, 2010 / 4:21 pm

    I am looking forward to reading it. Did he write the book from each character’s perspective? I loved that in A Long Way Down!


    • Michelle February 4, 2010 / 11:16 pm

      Yes, it was third person, but each of the three main characters had their own chapters (or sections – I was listening so I don’t know).


  6. Vishy February 5, 2010 / 1:19 pm

    Nice review! I like the fact that the book has a music background.


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