Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dear Nick Hornby, I love you.

Juliet, Naked: a novel Juliet, Naked: a novel by Nick Hornby

It's been a long time since I read a really good book. I read lots of books and many of them are good. But only a few are really good. This one made me wish my flight was longer, wish I'd taken a shuttle instead of renting a car and had me looking forward to dining out alone.

It's about a couple in their late thirties ending a long term relationship. It's about the internet enabling a youthful obsession with a rock star to last many years longer than it should. It's about the life of a washed up rock star. It's about getting to know someone over email. It's about wanting kids and not wanting kids and having too many kids. It's about music and how it can affect life. It's about life in a small town. It's about the stupid mistakes we all make. Nothing earth shattering here. But it's all in how it's written. Hornby makes it all so real and familiar - sometimes painfully familiar, but somehow laughable at the same time. My only complaint is that it was too short. I could have gone on reading this book all summer.

There was a moment when two of the main characters were ending their relationship and one was moving out where Annie offers to lend Duncan money and he says "I never thought you'd be so... tough." I think I may have snorted out loud (Much to the annoyance of the guy sitting next to me on the plane. But whatever - he did not respect the invisible line created by the armrest and his elbow was in my space the whole flight.), because I heard in my head an ex calling me a cold hearted bitch when I told him he could keep our DVD player. And now I can see that it's funny. The book is full of those moments we've all had. And because they're not actually our moments, we can laugh at them and somehow that makes our own memories more like clever, witty, novel moments.


  1. You had me all excited about the book, and it doesn't come out until September! :(
    I'll have to make a note to look for it!

  2. I guess I should have mentioned that I stumbled across this uncorrected proof copy last weekend at BookExpo and the book is not actually available until September.

  3. Well, it will give me something to look forward to! :)

  4. I agree, this was a great read (I too got a copy at Book Expo). Hornby just really gets the relationship thing right, doesn't he? His dialogue is like you are eavesdropping on an actual couple's conversation.