‘Juliet, Naked’, by Nick Hornby

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June 17, 2012 by Me and My Monkeys

'Juliet, Naked', Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby’s contemporary alternative reality places him somewhere between sci fi and beat poetry. He isn’t highbrow but he’s clever.

In Juliet, Naked, Hornby constructs a virtual popular culture that is compelling and persuasive, defined by fan-sites and Wikipedia, and peopled with conspiracy theorists and self-proclaimed experts. We’re left with no doubt that folk rocker Tucker Crowe is real. We grew up with him and know his album intimately.

To begin the novel through the eyes of an obsessive ‘Crowologist’ (Duncan) was a perfect set up. To then relegate Duncan to the margins allowed the story to breathe and think and grow.

When we meet Tucker Crowe amid the blur of Duncan’s mythologies, we are as starstruck as anyone. Despite a dose of caricature and some underdeveloped ex-wives, the middle of the novel is a believable portrait of lonesome Annie and Tucker, both damaged and dwindling.

Once Hornby has ticked a few narrative boxes, there is a sense of ends prematurely tied up. But by then we’ve had enough; not over it, just satisfied.

I look forward to Tucker’s next album.

Recommended? Yeah, why not?

Out of 10? 7

My monkeys suggest:

  • Don’t bother looking up Tucker Crowe on Wikipedia. He’s been deleted!

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