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
I'm not reviewing the content of the book, quite excellent, especially if you are a Nick Hornby fan, but rather the recording. It was brilliant using the three narrators. I also enjoyed the musical segue ways.
I thouroughly enjoyed every bit of this book. The narrators were all fantastic. The characters were so well drawn I felt like I knew them all by the end of the book. It was witty and funny and serious and sad all at the same time. It was an all around excellent effort on Hornby's part. Loved it. Can't say that enought. I'm going to check out his other work now too.
I liked this novel a great deal -had never read anything by Hornby before but it made me want to read other things by him- and the narration with the English and American accents makes it even more enjoyable. I felt the author understood and explained the different characters very well, especially the woman (which surprised me) and the musician. There were many amusing parts, the dialogue and the feelings and motivations of the characters felt true, and I almost felt I became friends with (or at least would want to, in the case of the woman and the older man-musician) the characters. At the end, I wished the book could have been two or three times longer, so as to not have to say goodbye to the characters.
I love books.
The three narrators did a wonderful job of exposing the listener to the individual minds of the main characters. If you enjoy Nick Hornby's work, I would highly recommend Juliet, Naked.
I'm so glad I discovered the offbeat humor of Nick Hornby. I even laughed when I tried to describe it to friends. What fun!
Enjoyed it all. I know people like each of the main characters in the book - they felt very real and the writing was insightful.
Readers were fantastic - they really pull you in and make you think you are listening to the real characters.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Equal to the print edition. Different experience, but both just as good -- best possible read, best possible listen.
Nick Hornby returns to the territory of High Fidelity, the book that put him on the map and that remains his best work (not that the rest is anything less than pretty darn good). It's about a relationship set to the soundtrack of their lives, but unlike High Fidelity, which was about a lot of different music, Juliet Naked is about one particular (fictional) musician.
As a huge pop/rock aficionado since I first saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago, as an ongoing follower of all of the twists and turns of rock music over the last half century (like Hornby), it's wonderful to read books about real people and their relationships and their relationship to music (to that kind of music). The couple at the center of Juliet Naked are devoted to their Bruce Springsteen-like figure in a way that defines their life and their relationship. How that unorthodox menage a trois evolves is the best aspect of this story.
First of all, Bill Irwin is not the only narrator -- there are three, each taking over when the narrative switches among the three main characters, and they're all very good. But with respect to Bill Irwin, I have to say that I haven't heard him read any other books, but I'm a big fan of his acting and clown work. I don't even call him Bill Irwin -- to me, he will always be Mr. Noodle (from Sesame Street, which I used to watch with my daughters when they were little).
In fact, we met Bill Irwin at the stage door of a Broadway show he was in, by which time my daughters were teenagers, and they were too shy to tell him how much they liked Mr. Noodle, but not me -- I told him that I liked his character as much as the kids did. So, to hear him narrate an audiobook -- and such a good one as this -- is a bonus treat for me. How many people can say they're big Bill Irwin fans? Why would they? But I am.
I find it hard to laugh out loud when I'm by myself, whether it's reading or watching TV or movies or even listening to comedians. I believe comedy is a communal experience when it's at its best, with everyone's laughter feeding off everyone else's laughter. That said, this book did make me laugh out loud at times. Chuckle mostly, but once in a while, laugh out loud.
Starts slow, finally pulls you in and then you realize you don't really understand or like any of the characters. Maybe a "love story" only men can appreciate?
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