Below is my review of Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. Its a bit rushed but it was posted minutes after I finished reading the book and is a bit more like a discussion than a review. Please feel free to discuss my ideas if you’ve read the book!
Juliet, Naked is another of Hornby’s books in which music frequents the storyline. The main characters are all combined through Tucker Crowe, a has-been of a musician who is spending his life in hiding living off various wives and girlfriends, the latest of which is Cat, mother to the apple of his eye, Jackson.
The story forms around Annie and Duncan, a couple who are obviously with each other because they can put up with one another and don’t want to be alone. Duncan’s obsession with Tucker makes it seem as though there are three in the relationship. When Tuckers “new” album comes about and Annie disagrees with Duncan’s view of the album the cracks start to show in their relationship until eventually Duncan leaves. Tucker and Annie come together through the review Annie writes about the album online. The review is different to the usually fanatics and as the story develops Tucker gets in touch with Annie and the two become closer.
The story is, in my personal view, brilliant; I understand the dull drone of life for Annie as she wonders through it in a boring seaside town. Perhaps as I come from a bring town myself. As for Duncan there’s times when I want to shout at him for being such a boring git or just not appreciating what he’s got with Annie. Tucker is also a lively character and I believe he’s that type of guy who one minute you can love and the next think he’s a prick. The realistic nature of the characters come through brilliantly but I do think, as other reviews have suggested, there is an age of reader who will associate with the novel more than others. As a younger reader, in my very early twenties, I don’t think I got the most out of the novel as I have done other Hornby classics. I was sat thinking throughout a lot of the beginning of the novel that Annie should just leave Duncan and couldn’t believe that he left her and spent a lot of time wondering how Tucker Crowe managed to get all the women he had seemed to accumulate over the years, however then realised that if I met a guy out of a band and I was single I’d probably want to get to know him too! Also the relationship that Tucker has with his family, especially his children didn’t get me interested and I found myself being very annoyed at him because of this – maybe as I’m more the children’s age perhaps?
However these downsides only made me think more about the characters and the background that you don’t get from the novel. I would love to read Hornby’s notes and see if the ideas about their backgrounds I have match with what their creator had in mind. I think Juliet, Naked, is a great read, even if it’s not Hornby’s greatest work, but let’s face it, there are high expectations in any of his new works!