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I'm a bit of a latecomer to the literary works of English popular culture author, Nick Hornby. The author of books, including Fever Pitch and About A Boy which have been adapted to film, are some of his popular releases.
So knowing that I jumped at the chance to turn the pages of his 2009 work, Juliet, Naked. Lead characters Annie and Duncan have been in a barely existing 15 year relationship where the passion ended a long time ago and they have forgotten the reason why they were together in the first place. The one topic that binds them is the whereabouts of the once famous and blossoming, but now reclusive and missing in action musician, Tucker Crowe.
While Crowe's life after music is mainly the fascination of Duncan, Annie has endured the unanswered question of "where is Tucker" for what seems an eternity.
As her forties loom deep, Annie and Duncan split after Duncan's "encounter" with Gina. Despite his indiscretion, little does Duncan know that Annie has been enjoying online conversations with none other than, you guessed it, Mr Tucker Crowe himself. Tucker has experienced a string of broken marriages and a collection of children from several different mothers and his employment record is equally as tenuous. His musical career? Well, that hasn't re-surfaced much either. So, what will become of these relationships and connections when Tucker re-surfaces and he and Duncan battle for Annie's affections?
The characters of Juliet, Naked are all trying to find themselves, get some clarity of their dreams and their ability to be happy and fulfilled. This is not a high energy novel. At times I wanted to give the characters a nudge to get themselves together. But I guess that is for them to work out.
If you enjoy music and music culture, you will like this one. There are references and comparisons of Tucker Crowe to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen and the angst of social observation through music. Ah, the life of an artist.
Juliet, Naked is also a feature film starring Australia's own Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke
About Nick Hornby Nick Hornby is a British writer and studied English at Cambridge University. He has also been a journalist, teacher and pop music critic and fan. Juliet, Naked is published by Thorndike Press.