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 10 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.
©2009 Nick Hornby; (P)2009 Penguin
Nervous about the male narrator, but it was fine. I got this based on other reviews, and I really enjoyed the story. It is always a gamble with new authors but I won out on this one. It is nice to enjoy something that is not my usual fluff books.
I thought more of how it compared to real stories than other books.
I adored all of the characters, especially Tucker Crow.
I savored the book at a leisurely pace.
This is unlike other books I read but I found it charming and thought provoking. I highly recommend it, especially to followers of the indie music scene.
Lots of fun, in typical, unabashedly cliche, Nick Hornby style. Boring-ish, stuck-in-a-rut British girl settled for a boring-ish British Guy, who is obsessed with an obscure, reclusive rock legend… turns out reclusive rock legend is not all that interesting in real life. Funny how it all works out, and how a cast of otherwise boring characters manages to weave a rather interesting story. Malcolm, Annie’s “therapist” is a hoot.
I just assume Juliet, Naked will be picked up and turned into a film, like his other books, and I wonder which British actors will play which characters. I imagine Bill Nighy as Tucker - he played such a wonderful has-been rocker in Love, Actually. John Cusack would make a great Duncan. My hope would be a sensational casting choice for Malcolm, the therapist - maybe Alan Rickman? Who would play Annie? This will be an enjoyable film. Wait for it! Meanwhile, enjoy the audiobook.
I usually like Nick Hornby's writing better than his stories, but in Juliet, Naked, they both come together for a satisfying book. The plot will resonate with anyone who has been or has lived with a rabid fan. Fun, sweet and thoughtful.
Sometimes we get to midlife and we discover the anthem is not a proud, "I did it my way!" But instead more of a what if and how did...nick hornby's characters find themselves facing the mess they have made of their lives.
I've been a long time fan of Nick Hornby having read all his novels. I adore his distinctive British humor, but more importantly his very interesting and complex male characters. As a woman -- especially one who has a wonderful father, brother, husband and two sons -- I dislike the way men are often portrayed as unthinking buffoons. Mr. Hornby refuses to go down that road and is why I love his stories. Juliet, Naked does not disappoint. All the characters are interesting and flawed, but not exasperatingly so. This production is brilliant in using multiple narrators to convey the various points of view and musical cues to signal these changes. Very well done.
PS - when my sons get older I plan on making them read the entire Nick Hornby library -- especially "Slam".
The audio version really brought the story to life. At first, I was skeptical about the different voices used to represent the three main characters, but I soon realized how wonderful and vivid they made the listening experience.
I liked how the audio brought the perspectives of the main characters into focus. Of course, I love Nick Hornby's writing. He makes me laugh out loud!
First time I've ever listened to a Bill Irwin performance. I enjoyed it very much.
The book made me laugh, mostly. It was really touching and funny.
I enjoy Nick Hornby's books - being a music dork myself, it's fun to see someone else nerd out over the little details behind the making of some of the greatest albums of all time, or even some of the most mediocre. This book takes a look at the stress that being a hardcore fanboy can put on having to exist in the real world in a relationship. They say there are three sides to every story, his side, her side, and the truth, and that's pretty much what's explored here. There is the rabid fanboy who teaches courses at University on his obsession, his girlfriend of over a decade who has been dragged along for the ride, and the musician himself with the real story of his life. It's a pretty quick read that ping-pongs you between a fan's speculation and scrutiny of the tiniest details of his favorite musician's life and career, and the musician's battle to sort out his own real life in the face of these nuts.
Audiobooks changed my life. My career as a trial lawyer left no time for recreational anything, much less reading. But then . . .
So what happened?
These characters are not for everybody, but they were for me. I fell in love with Annie and so badly wanted her to find a lover. I've known Tuckers and they are like dynamite. Recovering alcoholics can go either way and they usually do. My irony. If you are the nurturing type, then once you connect with a characters or several of them, what you want most is to know they ended up okay. I truly believed this lovely story was headed that way. It had everything. For romantics like me, the slowly, awkwardly-developing love story was just what I look for and enjoy. And, I enjoyed it very much.
Annie was my favorite. I loved Annie. Annie had paid her dues and was long overdue for her rewards. She suffered 15 years of the insufferable Malcom, was out of the relationship, opportunity presented itself and, well, we don't know what happened. I am not tolerant of books that start slowly. There is no excuse for it usually. You can hook the reader on the first page. I was an hour into this book, maybe more, and was ready to put it down for good. Then it got good and I listened to it practically straight through. I am not tolerant of books that end badly either. I am not talking about a disaster. I am talking about something akin to watching a movie when you were a child and with 15 minutes to go, your mom sends you upstairs because, well just because. It's late, or something. So, now my mom doesn't send me to bed, I want to know and feel I have the right to how it ends. Anyone who can get the significance of the Blog comments at the end perhaps knows somthing I don't. I didn't get it. So, it is a very good story, nicely told and narrated that starts painfully slowly and then finishes before the end. It's regretable. I am not anything like a novelist, but I feel could have satisfactorily ended the story better in one of about ten different ways, Annie is single and loves Tucker. Tucker is single and loves Annie. Anybody have any ideas here?
I loved Annie and would go to dinner with her. If I had a choice, I'd like to go to dinner with Tucker. I imagine most people would.
In the previous comments, the book can be summarized: a great story, great character development, but starts hopelessly slowly and ends about one to two chapters too soon.
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