FunGI have a love/hate relationship with the works of author Nick Hornby. The love part is quite simple – I love his work, and I have read every single one of his novels – some of them multiple times. The hate part is that I hate that he is not more prolific. What I wouldn’t do to have Mr. Hornby have the same output as, say, James Patterson or Stephen King.

So here is the deal. When one of his books comes out I am of two minds. Do I rush to read it? Or do I try to wait as long as I can as I know it will be a while before there is a new work to feed my fix?

Such is the dilemma I faced recently with the release of Mr. Hornby’s most recent novel, Funny Girl: A Novel. It had been something like five years since his last book, the fantastic Juliet, Naked (see my review here), which is one of his best works to date, and I couldn’t wait to read his latest. So, I lasted about two days after the pre-ordered Funny Girl loaded to my Kindle and the companion audio book to my iPod and I have already read it twice and listened to it once.

I must report that Funny Girl was worth the wait. Mr. Hornby is in fine form and his latest work is a wonderful Mad Men-era period piece that is a bit of a departure for the author, best known for writing about men of a certain age struggling with being a certain age. In Funny Girl, which has nothing whatever to do with the Barbra Streisand masterpiece of the same name, Mr. Hornby gives us a female main character, but don’t worry, there is plenty of male angst surrounding her.

About Funny Girl: A Novel by Nick Hornby: “Set in 1960’s London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby’s latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.”

I really enjoyed this book. Mr. Hornby gives us a central character who although she is a television comedy star in the 1960’s, is very relatable and loveable. But it is in the lives of the people around her where the novel really shines – it says much about the people who come into our lives and disrupt everything and in the end makes you wonder how you could have lived without them (her).

Funny Girl: A Novel by Nick Hornby is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.