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Juliet, Naked Audio Download – Unabridged

3.4 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 3 Sept. 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ7NXQ

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Obviously there's deep irony in posting a review of a new book by one of my favorite authors when one of the key elements of the book's plot is an adoring fan's online review of a new album...but oh well. I have to admit, I was a little leery when I cracked the spine of Hornby's latest novel. After setting the bar ridiculously high with his first two books, Fever Pitch and High Fidelity, Hornby has continued on to produce a series of engaging, but not quite as brilliant successors. And it had to be said that his last adult novel, A Long Way Down, was distinctly underwhelming. Fortunately, this new book represents a return to form, as well as being a work that speaks to an older (though probably not wiser) audience than his previous work.

The mechanics of the story are relatively simple: Annie and Duncan are a cohabitating couple approaching 40 as they eke out moderate existences as a small museum director and college instructor, respectively. They've been together for 15 years, and about the only thing keeping them together is inertia and the lack of prospects in the seaside cultural wasteland they live in (a fictional town on England's eastern coast, somewhere near Hull -- roughly the American equivalent of a small, tacky, Jersey shore town). Duncan is obsessed with an obscure American singer-songwriter from the '80s who inexplicably walked away from music one day, and spends a great deal of his time and energy running a website devoted to the mysterious Tucker Crowe. One day, a "new" Tucker Crowe album is released (it's actually the demos from a concept album beloved by his fans), and Duncan and Annie's differing reactions to it trigger a chain of events which brings the reclusive ex-musician into their lives in the flesh.
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Format: Hardcover
I really like Nick Hornby. I think he's an astute commentator and critic, I think he has a great take on the modern condition, and for what it's worth I'm pretty sure he's one of the good guys too.

Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that, notwithstanding the decent fist he made of `High Fidelity' (not exactly a great novel, but a damned good read all the same) and most particularly 'About a Boy' (his best fiction to date, and, my guess is, the best he will ever write) he's actually not much of a novelist. Having ploughed my way through `How to be Good' (which worked well in parts and was at least philosophically intriguing), `A Long Way Down', which was just plain awful, and now this, I'm thinking that maybe it's time to give it up and stick to what he's good at - writing funny and perceptive stuff about music, the arts and modern life (which he does better than just about anyone I know). I mean, really - go read `A Long Way Down' and then read `31 Songs' or `The Complete Polysyllabic Spree' and tell me I'm not right.

So here's what I think about `Juliet, Naked `: it's not a bad book and if you picked it up before a flight (assuming the horrible chick-lit-style cover didn`t put you off) it would probably distract you adequately for a few hours. It`s not especially funny, or sad, or emotional, or exciting or really especially anything but it moves along at an adequate pace from page to page, eventually reaching a not especially satisfying conclusion. And, you know, it's only 245 pages, so it's not like a great investment is required from the reader.

It's about music, which Nick knows a lot about - specifically, about Tucker Crowe, former musician and newest addition to Hornby's lengthening gallery of feckless wasters - and the nature of art, creativity and fandom.
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Format: Hardcover
Juliet,Naked,the new book from Nick Hornby could be seen as a companion piece to High Fidelity.If you like that,I think you'll like this.

The title refers to a stripped down version of an album(much like the Beatles-Let It Be,Naked) called Juliet by the fictitious and reclusive Tucker Crow.The main characters Duncan and Annie have been in a relationship for more then fifteen years and although Annie is a fan of Tucker Crow's,Duncan is an obsessive.The book starts with the couple on a tour of famous sites the singer has played and visited over the years,including a public toilet where he allegedly decided to give it all up.When a stripped down version of Tucker's masterpiece Juliet arrives through the mail,Annie listens to it first,which enrages Duncan on his return home.I don't really want to give away any more than that in terms of story.

The plot deals mostly with how music fans and obsessives can read a bit too much into songs and lyrics,which in turn can have a negative effect on a relationship.It's funny and honest and although I could see some things coming,not all reveals were done in the way I thought they would be.

The characters were well written and on recently reading 31 Songs by Hornby,I can see a lot of references to some of his own musical heroes in here such as Bruce Springsteen and Dylan.With their own famous break-up albums Tunnel of Love and Blood on the tracks mentioned,it made me wonder if Nick Hornby has the music for Juliet in his head,quoting several of the songs lyrics throughout.This fictitious piece of work seems to be something you wonder if Hornby has fantasized about for many years being such a huge music fan as he is,and not being a songwriter as such,this is his means to get his own album out there.
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