Archive for October 5th, 2011

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to… love what you do.”

-Steve Jobs

JULIETI am cheating a little bit this week with my Weekly Read.  Nick Hornby is one of my favorite authors and I have read just about everything he has written and loved every word.  Therefore, his novel Juliet, Naked is a an easy pick.  Mr. Hornby is probably best known as the author of a few novels that were turned into movies, such as “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy.”  Mr. Hornby has a lock on capturing the world of a male of a certain age and their coming of (a certain) age stories.  He could probably be called the voice of a segment of a generation – definitely male, likely British and fans of popular culture.  But hey, I love him too.

My pick of all his novels is the one the I read most recently Juliet, Naked.  I pick it because I think the novel transcends his other work and stands alone as a great book, even for those who are not already Hornby fans.  Proof of this is the fact that I have recommended this book to a cross section of friends and they all loved it.  Men and women, young and old, and mostly American.

About Juliet, Naked“From the beloved New York Times best-selling author, a quintessential Nick Hornby tale of music, superfandom, and the truths and lies we tell ourselves about life and love. 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?”

I think Juliet, Naked rises above Mr. Hornby’s other works for me because I can truly relate to how music can change one’s life and there is a thin line between being a fan and being obsessed.  Also, this novel has well-developed characters and a back story that is compelling and believably related by the author.

There are no huge dramatic plot twists, murder mysteries or plane crashes in this book.  Juliet, Naked is simply the story of people trying to make sense of their lives and their pasts and make a new life for themselves.  And by the way, it is laugh-out-loud funny in places as much as it is sincere and heartfelt.

Juliet, Naked is available from Amazon and other booksellers.