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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Juliet, Naked: a novel Hardcover – September 29, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Hornby returns to his roots: music, manic fandom and messy romance in his funny and touching latest, dancing between three perspectives on fame: a sycophantic scholar, an appreciative audience member, a fabled singer-songwriter who can't see what all the fuss is about. After cult musician Tucker Crowe vanished from the public eye 20 years ago, his small but devoted fan base built up a mythology around his oeuvre and the people and places associated with his storied life. Self-appointed Crowologist Duncan has indoctrinated his girlfriend, Annie, on the wonders of Tucker, but when Annie fails to recognize the genius of a newly released version of Crowe's classic album Juliet, their 15-year relationship quickly crumbles. Meanwhile, Duncan's glowing first review is increasingly de-bated, while Annie's deconstructive essay posted on the same Web site earns her a clandestine e-mail correspondence with the reclusive musician. Soon, their exchanges grow more personal; given that Tucker lives in an American backwater and Annie resides in a remote English town, both view their e-mails as a safe flirtation until the dissolution of Tucker's latest marriage and a crisis with one of his several neglected children brings him to Annie's side of the Atlantic. Through brisk dialogue and quick scene changes, Hornby highlights each character's misconceptions about his or her own life, and though Duncan, Annie and Tucker are consistently ridiculous and often self-destructive, they are portrayed with an extraordinary degree of sympathy. Tucker's status of Dylan by way of Salinger allows for an intriguing critique of celebrity fetishization and of the motives behind the eccentricity that comes along with fame. Obviously, this is a must-read for Hornby's fans, but it also works as a surprisingly thoughtful complement to the piles of musician bios and memoirs. (Sept.)
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From The New Yorker

Hornby’s books are almost shamefully readable. They can suffer from simplistic premises and too many corny jokes, but his characters are always richly, sympathetically drawn. In this novel of aging, love, and regret, Annie lives in a decaying seaside town in England, where her partner of convenience, Duncan, immerses himself in the esoterica of an obscure American singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who quit the business twenty years earlier and hasn’t been heard from since. When Tucker releases a demo version of his most famous album, “Juliet,” Duncan’s and Annie’s divergent reactions (he loves it, she hates it) pull them apart. Through a series of entertaining if implausible events, Annie and Tucker strike up a friendship. The story is tinged with despair, and though the ending offers little by way of hope, its bittersweet ambiguity lends it maturity.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; First Edition edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594488878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594488870
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
All you really need to know about Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby's latest, is
that it doesn't disappoint. It's really, really good, and it may even
replace High Fidelity as my favorite.

The main characters are Annie and Duncan, a middle-aged couple, and Tucker
Crowe, an aging musician in retirement. Annie and Duncan have a
relationship-ending fight about the quality of Tucker Crowe's new album,
and Annie begins a correspondence with Tucker Crowe himself.

Juliet, Naked is about Regret. Big, mid-life crisis level Regret -- grief
and anger at the too-quick passage of time, of wasted opportunities. It's
about the realization that one has not Done Enough, or Done the Right
Things.

This may sound unappetizing. But one of the rare and great features of
Nick Hornby's writing is how he takes situations that would normally be
dreary, such as a serious break-up (High Fidelity) or teenage pregnancy
(Slam), and makes these situations hilariously funny. His characters are
self-aware about themselves in some ways, but not at all in other ways.
These gaps in self-knowledge, and Hornby's gentle handling of them, are
exquisite in their subtlety and insight.

This book reminded me: (1) Do the work you love, and (2) Strive to spend
time with the people who (a) love you and (b) who you love in return.
Which of us doesn't need this reminder, always?
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Format: Hardcover
I haven't read anything by Nick Hornby before, although I have seen two films that were based on his novels (and both were quite good). I should qualify my review by saying that I was a little skeptical starting the novel, thinking it might be a little too `relationship drama' for my personal tastes. A romantic comedy may be a perfectly good option for a night at home watching a DVD with my lovely wife, but reading is a solitary experience, and generally speaking, I prefer darker nastier fare than what Juliet Naked promises its readers.

But I really enjoyed the first half of the novel. In particular I found Duncan (and Duncan seen through the eyes of Annie, his long suffering girlfriend) to be quite hilarious. Duncan is a fan of a relatively obscure singer/songwriter who disappeared abruptly in the mid-eighties shortly after the release of his most critically acclaimed album, Juliet. A mystic builds around the singer, Tucker Crowe, who has become a recluse in the spirit of JD Salinger. Duncan is the eminent Crowologist, an obsessive fan who maintains a web site devoted to Tucker lore, alleged sightings of the singer, and interpretations of his song lyrics. We meet Annie and Duncan while they are on vacation in the US, making pilgrimage to the bar bathroom where Tucker decided to walk away from his career.

But the novel started to lose me a little when Tucker Crowe enters the fray. After the demo tapes of Juliet are released, as a CD called Juliet Naked, Duncan writes a gushing review and posts it on his website, declaring it a masterwork. Annie posts a contrary review and soon after, she starts receiving (and then exchanging) emails from the reclusive singer.
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Format: Hardcover
Nick Hornby has a bit of a reputation as a writer whose appeal is largely to young, pop culturally-obsessed men. While it's true that his earlier novels do focus on not-yet-fully-formed young men and their often unsolicited journeys towards adulthood, I always thought he was a writer remarkably sensitive and sympathetic to all his characters, male or female.

Hornby's newest novel, Juliet, Naked, is a wonderful, sweet book. The story focuses on three characters approaching or exiting middle aged, and how they deal with the regret of unfulfilled lives.

Duncan is a teacher who only comes to life when talking, listening to or writing about reclusive singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe. Annie is in a dead-end long-term relationship with Duncan and in a dead-end job as a seaside museum curator. And then there's Tucker Crowe, who has not recorded in over two decades and has been a disinterested observer of his own withdrawal from both his creative life.

I'll leave for you to discover how a small, uncharacteristically assertive action of Annie's - a dissenting post on Duncan's all-things-Tucker-Crowe website - sets into motion a series of events that forces all of these characters out of their respective ruts.

What's wonderful about Hornby's writing is that he understands and is compassionate towards all of his characters. You can think that Duncan is a sad, small man whose obsessive expertise regarding Crowe's small catalogue is a poor excuse for an actual life, but Hornby lets you understand how he got that way, and respects Duncan's intelligence and passion, however misapplied.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dear Nick,

If you read reviews at all (you probably don't because you're much more healthy than me and anyone else out there writing for the masses), please trust my honest review over all the shrill, negative reviews about this fantastic book. Of course, I fancy that I have an opinion that carries weight, and I could list my degrees and life experience here in order to establish that, but I won't because that will sound pompous and like I'm scared that I actually have nothing to offer after all. And I do. I totally do.

What I loved about this book was it's honesty. I've read all your books and I honestly struggled with the female POV you went for in How to Be Good. I felt like you missed the mark. But in Juliet, Naked, Annie was amazing. I adored her and the weaknesses she nurtured and the way she tried to outthink them. I loved that she had so many heavy regrets and wanted to undo them. I appreciated Tucker a lot, although not nearly so much as Annie. The way you captured the fade from fame and the bitterness of looking back on a series of bad choices and the redemption Tucker is looking for with his son Jackson--holy crap. It really undid me. In a good way.

I've looked over several negative reviews and I sincerely believe that people who bash this story haven't any appreciation for what you do and how you deliver characters--broken but beautiful. Each one of them is prickly enough that it would be easy to discard them for sucking so bad and for just being pure crap as an individual, but we can't. Well, at least I couldn't. Because I could see myself in them, in all the lives I haven't lived and will never live, but could imagine living.
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