Juliet Naked

Juliet Naked✹ [BOOKS] ✭ Juliet Naked By Nick Hornby ❃ – Oaklandjobs.co.uk 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 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 lifeIn doing so she initiates an e mail correspondence with Tucker and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for 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 NakedWhat 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 promiseAbout the AuthorThe New Yorker calls bestselling author Nick Hornby “the maestro of the male confessional” He is the author of the novels A Long Way Down How to Be Good High Fidelity and About a Boy and the memoir Fever Pitch He is also the author of Songbook a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and The Polysyllabic Spree and editor of the short story collection Speaking with the Angel He is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ EM Forster Award and the Orange Word International Writers’ London Award . B 75% | More than Satisfactory Notes Well written but lacks vigor excitement and soul Characters change but so predictably as to garner very little effect Why do we read? No it’s not a rhetorical uestion It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot the last few days I mean yeah the obvious reasons to access information to brush up on our morality because we’ve been assigned to So we can have uh passionate discussions hook up impress escape retreat and regroup So we don’t feel as alone asAs what? That’s for you to answer not me So Nick Hornby is one of my revered authors He’s a downright O M G in my little realm of escapism Others who live there are Hardy Greene Foer Coupland Kundera Zusak and so on I may not be the most cultured of folk but I know what I like and will uietly defend it Juliet Naked tore me from my reading rut Will I lapse back? Perhaps But I did have this momentary glimmer and I guess that’s what life is about right? There are 3 main characters in this book Annie a 39 ish small time museum curator who recently broke up with Duncan a pudgy 40ish school teacher whose whole cultural life revolves around his obsession over Tucker Crowe a Dylan esue singer who pulled a Salinger in the mid 1980s and left behind one really great break up album that fans have been pulling apart analyzing blogging sitting in the dark woe is me ing over for the past 25 years Hmmm I’m not really great with the whole ‘summation’ thing in reviews I tend to write the non review the ‘why is it important to me’ kind of review But I thought I should give you the basics I think we also tend to read to find similarities in characters sometimes it’s about redemption sometimes it’s about association sometimes it's just to relieve the lonelinessAnnie is on her own after 15 years in a bland mostly platonic relationship Of course she’s going to ruminate How could her life have been different if she didn’t waste her time on this guy? Why did he show passion towards an unknown musician who crapped out one good album and disappeared? Then comes the biggie empowerment She sees where she might have gone wrong starts to make changes starts to — liveDuncan is drab He hides behind his computer and exerts all this energy on what happened to the great Tucker Crowe He dissects his albums looking for some sort of epiphany Hmmm Epiphanies Tucker is a recovering alcoholic who has five kids with four women and thinks he’s the biggest bullshit artist alive I love Tucker I’m sorry this might be than you need to know But tortured dysfunctional messed up artists are my thing Epiphanies and all that So these three characters weave in and out of each other’s lives like sands through time I laughed I cried I hid in my room and stared at the wall I guess that’s the best book jacket review I can give of this Does it tell you anything about the book? About me? Meh Another uestion is the novel dead? I surely hope not Because even though Juliet Naked or High Fidelity isn’t life altering or shit like that It means something to me and maybe to a few others out there ”What do you do if you think you’ve wasted fifteen years of your life?” Are you kidding me? I don’t know if anyone ever told you but I’m pretty much the world expert on this particular subject I mean obviously I’ve wasted than fifteen years but I’m hoping you’ll overlook the extra and look upon me as a kindred spirit anyway Maybe even your guruFirst of all you have to get that number down Make a list of all the good books you’ve read movies you’ve seen conversations you’ve had and so on and give all of these things a temporal value With a little bit of creative accounting you should be able to reduce it to ten I’ve got mine down to about that now although I’ve cheated here and there—I included the whole of my son Jackson’s life for example and he’s been at school and asleep for a lot of the time wasting yearsI’d like to say that anything that comes in around a decade you can write off for tax purposes but that isn’t actually the way I feel I’m still pretty sick about what I’ve lost but I only admit it to myself late at night which is probably why I’m not the best sleeper What can I tell you?” Tucker Crowe 9718 addendumIn no universe of mine is Ethan Hawke Tucker Carlson If you’re familiar with Nick Hornby or better still if you’ve read this book then the following uiz will test how well your impressions correlate with mine If you’re not familiar with Hornby but are clued in to my own predilections a puerile sense of humor among them this will measure your powers of observation If you could hardly care less about me or ol’ Nick but can’t pass up a chance to test your uiz taking abilities you might still enjoy having a go Eliminating the barmiest choices will take you far The book is about Duncan and Annie who’ve been in a tepid relationship for 15 years living in a humdrum seaside village in the north of England She’s a museum curator and he’s an amateur musicologist obsessed by the reclusive ex singer songwriter Tucker Crowe whose limited popularity adds to his value in Duncan’s mind Annie is surprised to find herself in e contact with Tucker where they share regrets about lost time and the paths they’ve taken Interplay ensues From here see if you can guess the answers to the uiz uestions 1 If we were to liken this book to a meal it would bea A packet of crisps – just a snack really and not a very healthy one at thatb A juicy burger with cheddar and a good though not snooty bottle of wine – familiar and tasty substantial but not overdonec Poached Scottish Lobster with fennel puree broad bean panisse and huckleberry emulsion – ultra refined and highfalutind Hot dogs and apple pie – as American as it gets; decidedly not bangers and mash with spotted dick2 A theme in previous Hornby books that was repeated in this one though not necessarily concluding that it was right was thata Arsenal supporters are the salt of the earth and paragons of the English Premiershipb Lists of favorite things should come in sets of fivec It’s what you like not what you are like that mattersd Sprees should only ever be polysyllabic3 The title refers toa Shakespeare performed in modern undressb The perlustration of a Gordian soul laid bare for us all to beholdc A sandwich order at Sol’s Delicatessend A new Tucker Crowe CD of old demo cuts put out 20 years after his far polished album called “Juliet”; Duncan over praised it having been honored with the first public copy and Annie panned it for being rough hewn thus causing a rift4 Among rock star stereotypes from Tucker’s era the ones for which he became best known were for a Green MMs before a show to the exclusion of all othersb Snappy comebacks when reuests for “Free Bird” were shouted from the crowdc Wine and women to accompany song – accompanying to excessd Spandex and vomit5 Tucker was increasingly self aware as which of these uotes would indicatea “There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be And then you accept it Or you kill yourself Or you stop looking in mirrors”b “The truth about autobiographical songs he realized was that you had to make the present become the past somehow you had to take a feeling or a friend or a woman and turn whatever it was into something that was over so that you could be definitive about it You had to put it in a glass case and look at it and think about it until it gave up its meaning and he'd managed to do that with just about everybody he'd ever met or married or fathered The truth about life was that nothing ever ended until you died and even then you just left a whole bunch of unresolved narratives behind you He'd somehow managed to retain the mental habits of a songwriter long after he'd stopped writing songs and perhaps it was time to give them up”c I rock therefore I amd I rocked therefore I was6 Hornby’s most appealing traits as a writer stem from hisa Labyrinthine structuring and enigmatic presuppositionsb Laconic dialog and ornamental prosec Dickensian post modernism and Kafkaesue pastoralismd Rich character development and flowing accessible style7 Back cover blurbs described Hornby asa Witty warm and emotionally generousb Unctuous otiose uncouth and unyieldingc Serendipitous existential and solecisticd Bald bawdy and laddishly dissolute8 As a minor irritant we geta 289 pages of endnotesb Wiki entries about Tucker’s career which while clever to have included as a way to list facts were unrealistically detailed and subjectivec A pesky gnat that as chaos theory suggests is possible caused a train crash in Boltond Certain GR reviewers who think increasingly in terms of gimmicks9 The book seems to suggest thata It’s possible to venture too far into the cult of celebrity especially when the internet brings these people together with mutually reinforcing geekinessb Regret for time lost can be poignantc Artistic integrity is a tricky thing once the artist is acclaimed for what he knows to be emotional frauds and egos get strokedd All of the abovee None of the abovef Some of the above10 The book lost a star off its rating in the end becausea It should include only one or the other a zombie or a vampire not bothb A gun introduced in Act II must necessarily be fired in Act IIIc It lost its steam just when it would have been most interesting to see relationships develop and clear messages sentd After all tomorrow is another day had already been done and done betterAnswers view spoiler 1 b 2 c 3 d 4 c 5 b a is a great uote but that’s Tennessee Williams 6 d 7 a some might be tempted to say d but those only partially apply and they were not included in the blurbs 8 b d may also be true but is not the answer that pertains to this book 9 d 10 c hide spoiler The first half of this book is Hornby at his best – creating interesting believable characters and exploring the dynamics of relationships with his usual ear for dialogue and understanding of people’s often highly personal obsessions and motivations Surprisingly however once all the characters are properly introduced and the scenario established the author seems to lose his way When the story should be gearing towards a climax with the central characters finally coming together its as if Hornby doesn’t seem to know what to do with them As such the story rather peters out into a series of mild encounters and predictable half baked resolutions You get the feeling Hornby is deliberately trying to avoid the overly dramatic but in doing so he ends up delivering no kind of satisfying outcome at allUltimately its hard to see what the point of the novel actually is except the rather patronising one driven home with sermon like zeal by the author that all adult lives are eventually of little value unless at some point they involve raising children ‘raise’ being the operative word here – Hornby clearly has little respect for absentee fathersAll in all a book that starts well but ends up lacking a proper story arc and fails to deliver “Juliet Naked” spoke to me on a personal level at this point in my life right after the end of a long term relationship Nick Hornby really nails the emotions of a breakup and the painful recognition of a stagnant life So many folks are together because of the presence of a comfortable mundane routine This novel deftly captures how that can trap you with the wrong person in a manner I have rarely seen so effectively used in modern literatureThis book is about finding what really matters in life As you get older the knowledge of what that is changes and most of the novel’s characters get to that point in some form or another There is remarkable characterization in this book None of the characters are noble all are a little odd and they are so darn real You recognize them and yourself Hornby has created people just normal folks with the good and bad mixed in together For example the character of Duncan who is a douche but is still a decent guy Just really flawedlike most of usThe text is written in first person from the alternating viewpoint primarily of three characters with the occasional side trip into the mind of a secondary character thrown in The device works as we get a well done well rounded view of both sides of a breakup of a relationship and also an inside view of a new relationship beginningAs I have stated rarely has a book got into my head on such a level “Juliet Naked” is well written nicely plotted realistic enough to be satisfying and honest and accurate enough about human nature to be a little unnerving in a good way I have read four of Mr Hornby’s novels and this one is the best of the bunch Well that was extremely disappointing 😐 It’s funny writing a review of this book because in many ways I’m Duncan the obsessed fan who puts the book’s plot into motion Nick Hornby is something of a hero of mine I read a lot as a kid but sort of got away from it as I got older as it seems so many people do these days But then I read ‘High Fidelity’ and it’s like something lit up inside me I immediately devoured everything I could by Hornby which at the time wasn’t much—‘ About a Boy’ and ‘ Fever Pitch’ and then moved onto authors that Hornby seemed to admire most notably Dave Eggers whose ‘ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ further changed me When I finally met Mr Hornby years later I was utterly speechless I wanted to explain—elouently of course—the ways in which he’d changed my life By reading writing thinking I became a well rounded person because of him But how do you fit that into 30 seconds of a book signing? And do you even want to? It’s never good to meet your heroes—either they end up disappointing you or you end up disappointing them But that knowledge doesn’t put to rest the urge to tell them everything they mean to youSo I’m well aware that the character of Duncan is a critiue of Hornby’s own basest impulses—as an avid music lover he’s no doubt been in the position of the crazed fan than once in his day but I’m also keenly aware that it is a critiue of people like me as well—the once great fans of Hornby who now come onto the internet to poke holes in their hero’s continued uest to make a living It’s a little turnabout as fair play—how can you criticize this book without sounding like the snivel y whining fanboy who is the book’s biggest joke?But I really don’t have any great criticisms of this book It’s been said that Nick Hornby is ‘chick lit for men’ And I think there is some truth to that He’s certainly not Salman Rushdie or Upton Sinclair writing about controversial topics aimed to bring about greater good for society He’s simply a perceptive guy who has a talent for picking up on the little uirks that make life and pop culture so interesting And that’s all I really want from his books—I like smiling in recognition at my own uirks and flaws and those of the world around me Hornby’s world—Atlantic Ocean dividing them aside—is the world I inhabit And I appreciate being surrounded by like minded people even if it’s only on a pageThe greatest of these little truths that Hornby revealed in this book was the synthesis of art and musical art in particular I once wrote an essay for myself about an ex girlfriend I had in college Our relationship was a mess through and through—we were constantly breaking up and getting back together and cheating on each other and breaking up againit was a typical college relationship in other words And I remember one summer day when we were broken up I was listening to a song that made me think of her It was a playfully wistful song about longing for a lost love called ‘ Maybe in an Alternate Dimension’ by a band called Ozma And as I listened to this song and sang along picturing my ex girlfriend and I being together again I smiled Not because I wanted her back but because I recognized even then the ridiculousness of singing a song of wistful longing for that particular girl She wasn’t the one I knew that She wasn’t worthy of songs of wistful longing She was just the girl that I was dating then and that’s all she’d ever be I had even tried to write a song for her when I still played with my band but they all came out wrong—angry resentful She wasn’t the type of girl who you wrote love songs aboutSo that made me think of the original subject of the song the one who had inspired the singer of Ozma to write the song in the first place Was she so special? Did she deserve to have a wistful love song written about her by anyone? Maybebut I’m willing to bet it wasn’t all peaches and sunshine Because it never is Songs—love songs songs of wistful longing breakup songs—they all exist in a vacuum They’re almost never about a real person so much as an idealized version of a real person or an idealized version of a fucked up relationship Maybe the singer is singing about how much he loves the girl and where did he go wrong and all that but odds are he knew exactly where he went wrong—by sleeping with a groupie in the back of a tour bus But nobody wants to sing along to thatAnd that’s what Tucker Crowe represents in ‘ Juliet Naked’ He’s an artist who becomes self aware enough to realize what a fraud he is He sees hundreds of people singing along to songs he wrote about a girl he really didn’t even like all that much and it’s too much for him I don’t know that any rock star would really feel that way but it’s certainly how we’d like to see them and that’s why Nick Hornby is so great He just gets it He gets me even though we’ve only had one awkward stilted 30 second conversation And you could make the argument that maybe this book tied together a little too nicely and you could maybe nitpick that some of the characters were thinly sketched But I don’t care I enjoyed the heck out of it So you can say what you want about this book or Nick Hornby as an author but I love his books and this was his best in a while He just gets it He really does All night I was going back and forth in my head as to whether to give this 4 or 5 stars and as I couldn't think of a reason not to give it 5 I decided to do so I really enjoyed this character driven book Hornby has a warm and generous talent for creating honest flawed likable characters And for those who might think Hornby can only create male characters he's created a female protagonist here Annie that is as good as the main character Katie in How to Be Good Along with Hornby's fun witty and sometimes sarcastic humor the book is also sprinkled with meditations on the internet on parenthood on the nature of art and talent and writing making it all that much richer I went into this book thinking Who would Hugh Grant play in the movie adaptation and who would play all the other characters I’ve settled on Emily Blunt for Annie Hugh Grant as Duncan and Tucker Crowe to be played by Jeff Bridges Needless to say I had a lot of fun reading this book; it just fitted so well as an English Rom Com and I enjoyed every minute of this book There is no great depth to this book but it was a pleasure to read Nick Hornby has written a number of very good novels focusing on music and the sometimes geeky males who become obsessed with it to the point where they never really escape their adolescence In conseuence their romantic lives are usually a mess as wellEnter Duncan an undistinguished British college professor is a small backwater seaside town Duncan who teaches his students how to properly understand the significance of American television programs like The Wire has devoted much of his life to the study of Tucker Crowe an obscure American singer songwriter who abruptly disappeared from view twenty years ago and who has not been heard from since Duncan and a small handful of other Crowe addicts spend hours on the Internet deconstructing Crowe's songs speculating about what might have become of him and tracking every rumor about the man In their spare time they tour various sites associated with Crowe most notably the restroom in a Minneapolis bar where legend has it some unexplained catastrophic event led Crowe to abandon his fans and his careerAnnie a museum curator has been living with Duncan for fifteen years She has patiently endured Duncan's slavish devotion to Crowe but her relationship with Duncan has left her unfulfilled for a good long time and only inertia has prevented her from moving on Then apparently out of nowhere Duncan receives in the mail a demo version of Crowe's most famous album Juliet The new album is called Juliet Naked Duncan is apparently the first of Crowe's fanatic fans to hear the CD and overcome by the honor he posts a breathless review to the web pronouncing the record brilliantAnnie feels differently about it and joins the online discussion about Crowe for the first time with a review describing what she feels are the record's shortcomings This provokes a serious crisis in Annie and Duncan's relationship because she has dared to dissent from his expert point of view and because in Duncan's view she is too short sighted to recognize a work of genius It doesn't help that Annie opened the CD addressed to Duncan and listened to it before he couldThe disagreement about Juliet Naked finally calls into uestion the whole nature of the relationship between Annie and Duncan Things then take another unexpected turn when the artist himself breaks twenty years of silence and sends Annie an e mail message agreeing with her assessment of the CD Thus begins a long distance e mail flirtation between Annie and Tucker CroweAs is always the case Hornby's characters even the lesser ones are all very well drawn and the story is very engaging and often hilarious It will appeal to practically anyone who has enjoyed Hornby's previous books to people who love music and musicians perhaps a bit too obsessively and to the significant others who find themselves in relationships with such people

Juliet Naked MOBI ¼ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 248 pages
  • Juliet Naked
  • Nick Hornby
  • English
  • 11 July 2016
  • 9780670915651