Thursday, November 6, 2014

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby

Duncan is one of the world's biggest superfans of an obscure 80's musician nobody's ever heard of, and he runs a website dedicated to cracking the mysteries of Tucker Crowe's art and life. His long-time girlfriend Annie runs a tiny museum in their forgotten English seaside town. When a new album of old Tucker Crowe music is released, every thing changes: Duncan loses touch with reality, Annie gives up on Duncan, and the reclusive Tucker Crowe steps into the real world.

Hornby is widely known for his music geekiness (he also wrote "High Fidelity" about a record shop, which was eventually was turned into a John Cusack film), and this book is a wonderful multi-faceted look at fandom.

These are characters you enjoy spending time with, and their eccentricities are of the real-world kind. You probably know someone (or are someone) like these people. Nobody's got it all together - not by a long stretch - yet you find yourself rooting for them to get their shit together and SUCCEED just like you would a friend.

I listened to the excellent audiobook version of this novel recorded by three readers: American Bill Irwin, and Brits Ben Miles and Jennifer Wiltsie. Since the book is told in three voices, it was fun to have an audiobook read that way too. Later in the book it gets slightly odd, as there are conversations between the characters - for example, you hear Annie in Duncan's section, so that guy was mimicking the voice of the woman reading her sections. Not terrible, just a bit unusual.

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