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
Typical Hornby subject matter: pop culture, emotionally immature men, longing women, confused children. Yet also typical Hornby approach to his subjects, bringing humor, compassion and deep insight into his characters lives and interests. I loved it. The multiple readers were spot on. Bill Irwin was fantastic. It should win an Emmy.
I didn't like the beginning. I almost quit listening because I disliked Duncan so. I'm glad I didn't quit. I will miss Tucker, Annie, and Jackson.
Hornby has lots to say about people, life, and screwed up relationships. Perhaps more so than ever in this book. "She was a young woman and as a consequence didn't subscribe to the idea that monogamous sexual relationships between men and women were doomed, pointless, miserable, hopeless; she'd get there, he felt, but not for a while yet." Good story and good narration.
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