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.
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 ten 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If there’s one thing Nick Hornby loves as much as music, it’s zealous music fans. The characters in this novel are cut from the same cloth as those in High Fidelity, but now they have the internet to unite them. In a dreary English seaside town, a love triangle emerges between a pseudo-intellectual obsessed with a reclusive musician, his fed-up girlfriend, and the aging rocker himself. Despite wistfully addressing themes of aging and life slipping through your fingers—and a run-down, windswept setting—Juliet, Naked is a fun read. We think Ethan Hawke is perfect for the movie version of Hornby’s rocker protagonist, Tucker Crowe.
Hornby returns to his roots music, manic fandom, messy romance in his funny and touching latest, dancing between three perspectives on fame: a sycophantic scholar, an appreciative audience member, a fabled singer-songwriter who can't see what all the fuss is about. After cult musician Tucker Crowe vanished from the public eye 20 years ago, his small but devoted fan base built up a mythology around his oeuvre and the people and places associated with his storied life. Self-appointed "Crowologist" Duncan has indoctrinated his girlfriend, Annie, on the wonders of Tucker, but when Annie fails to recognize the genius of a newly released version of Crowe's classic album Juliet, their 15-year relationship quickly crumbles. Meanwhile, Duncan's glowing first review is increasingly de-bated, while Annie's deconstructive essay posted on the same Web site earns her a clandestine e-mail correspondence with the reclusive musician. Soon, their exchanges grow more personal; given that Tucker lives in an American backwater and Annie resides in a remote English town, both view their e-mails as a safe flirtation until the dissolution of Tucker's latest marriage and a crisis with one of his several neglected children brings him to Annie's side of the Atlantic. Through brisk dialogue and quick scene changes, Hornby highlights each character's misconceptions about his or her own life, and though Duncan, Annie and Tucker are consistently ridiculous and often self-destructive, they are portrayed with an extraordinary degree of sympathy. Tucker's status of Dylan by way of Salinger allows for an intriguing critique of celebrity fetishization and of the motives behind the eccentricity that comes along with fame. Obviously, this is a must-read for Hornby's fans, but it also works as a surprisingly thoughtful complement to the piles of musician bios and memoirs.
Is that really you, Nick?
I'm loving the twisted character development in this Nick Hornby book. It's his usual "very English" self; entertaining/funny, revealing, sad and true... but somehow a new voice seems to be developing in Hornby, I think he's getting tired of simply telling the story in a funny way.
This may be his Juliet!
One of his best
This book is one of his best. Wonderfully humane and real characters. Whatever happened to....
He answers that question with real grace.