Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked had me grinning like an idiot from start to finish. In an English seaside town, a 40-ish couple is in their fifteenth year of a relationship long on routine and short on passion. Duncan runs a website devoted to Tucker Crowe, a critically acclaimed but somewhat obscure singer-songwriter from the 70's and 80's, who quit music in the middle of the tour for his album, Juliet, one of the great break-up records of all time. He has never been heard from since. Annie likes Tucker Crowe's music but barely tolerates Duncan's obsession, one that places him on a precarious rung on the ladder of the poorly socialized. When a previously unknown, bare bones (thus naked) demo of Juliet falls into Duncan's lap, he posts an ecstatic review on his site. Annie, who is starting to wonder if she has wasted her life with a serial loser, posts a comment taking issue. Enter Tucker Crowe. Hornby has created an intelligent, oblivious sad sack in Duncan but it is Annie who is the clear heroine in this huge-hearted novel. Only an author who truly loves women could have come up with her. Hornby is a master of the comic novel and in my book the comic is as essential as the serious. This very funny novel is more thought-provoking than most serious novels I have read. Likewise, this thought-provoking novel was brilliantly funny and pure pleasure to read. I experienced pure pleasure AND my thoughts were provoked. You think that's easy? You have to be good. Thank you, Nick Hornby, for being so good. — Stan Hynds
October 2009 Indie Next List
“Two decades after their prime, a washed-up rock musician, an overzealous fan, and the woman at the crossroads between them all must face the reality of adulthood. You will want to spend time with these characters -- and see how things unfold for them.”
— Andi Allen, Piece of Mind Books, Edwardsville, IL
From the beloved New York Times– bestselling author, a quintessential Nick Hornby tale of music, superfandom, and the truths and lies we tell ourselves about life and love. Now a major motion picture starring Ethan Hawke.
Nick Hornby returns to his roots—music and messy relationships—in this funny and touching novel that thoughtfully and sympathetically looks at how lives can be wasted but how they are never beyond redemption. Annie lives in a dull town on England’s bleak east coast and is in a relationship with Duncan that mirrors the place; Tucker, once a brilliant songwriter and performer, has gone into seclusion in rural America—or at least that’s what his fans think. Duncan is obsessed with Tucker’s work to the point of derangement, and when Annie dares to go public on her dislike of his latest album, there are quite unexpected, life-changing consequences for all three.
Nick Hornby uses this intriguing canvas to explore why it is we so often let the early promise of relationships, ambition, and indeed life, evaporate. And he comes to some surprisingly optimistic conclusions about the struggle to live up to one’s promise.
About the Author
NICK HORNBY is the author of the internationally bestselling novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, A Long Way Down, Slam,Juliet, Naked, and Funny Girl, as well as several works of nonfiction. He lives in London.
“Charming… Nobody captures the zealous devotion and bizarre intensity of amateur music snobs better.” —The Washington Post
“Hornby seems, as ever, fascinated by the power of music to guide the heart, and in this very funny, very charming novel, he makes you see it matters.” —The New York Times Book Review