Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby - book review in a lift
After finishing Any Human Heart I was after something modern and funny. I have struggled with Nick Hornby lately, I must admit. After adoring Fever Pitch and Hi-Fidelity and his awesome column in the Independent in the 1990s, I never finished How to be Good, or Long Way Down. I will give them both another go, because in Juliet, Naked he once again proved he has absolutely nailed the over-educated disappointed Brit. It is every bit as wise and sharp about feckless, useless men as Hi-Fidelity. It's a simple enough plot centred on a couple in a northern seaside town (harshly portrayed) and HIS obsession with an American retired rock star. It was my book de jour when I saw Martin Amis and Ian McEwan last night and heard their slightly verbose and oh so clever observations on their friend Christopher Hitchens and on Vladimir Nabokov. I tell you what though, for a good ear - something Amis values as a key virtue of the modern novelist - then Hornby is a match for either.
And if you need reminding about how good that Indie column was, this story about Richard Harris getting chucked out of an Arsenal v Chelsea match is priceless.
PS I've done a list of my top 125 songs on an iPod playlist that meant a lot to me at various stages in my life, one track per artist. Self indulgent as this blog is, I'll keep it private, but the simple act of doing it was definitely inspired by the Great Scribe of Highbury.