Monday, 31 May 2010

#28 Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby (Penguin Group)

Five months into this enterprise, I have yet to give out a 10/10 mark (there hasn’t even been a 9/10), and, in truth, this doesn’t bother me. A book has to be really good to qualify for that rating, and for all the fine books I have read so far, none have seemed quite worthy of such an assessment of excellence.

However, I don’t want to give the impression that such a mark is an outright impossibility, and I was reminded of this when I embarked on Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby, whose first book, Fever Pitch, would probably have received a 10/10 rating had I read it as part of this challenge. It’s a magnificent piece of work.

Juliet, Naked is very enjoyable, without reaching the quality of Fever Pitch. As always, Hornby writes with humour about relationships – this time between a man obsessed with a reclusive American musician and his partner – and there are numerous laugh-out-loud moments and some wonderful observations.

But while the plot held my attention, and the career of musician Tucker Crowe and the ramifications of fame and fan obsession had a real ring of authenticity, I never really committed myself to the characters or their motivations.

In conclusion, then, not Hornby’s finest. But then he set a very high standard in the first place.

So, rating time:

#28 Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby (Penguin Group) - 7/10

Next up: How to Paint a Dead Man, by Sarah Hall (Faber and Faber Limited)

  • Click here for the full list of books so far, and their rating
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