When Annie hates Tucker's 'new release', a terrible demo of his most famous album, it's the last straw - Duncan cheats on her and she promptly chucks him.
Via an Internet discussion forum, Annie's harsh opinion reaches Tucker himself, who couldn't agree more. He and Annie start an unlikely correspondence that teaches them both something about moving on from years of wasted time.
Nick Hornby's compelling new novel, four years after A Long Way Down, is about the nature of creativity and obsession, and how two lonely people can gradually find each other.
©2009 Nick Hornby; (P)2009 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., and Penguin Books Ltd
"He should write for England." (Observer)
"Hornby writes with a funny, fresh voice which skewers male and female foibles with hilarious accuracy." (Guardian)
"Hornby is a fine writer, swift and pointed, with a lighter more mischevious heart than he lets on, and more sympathy for the devil than he admits to." (New York magazine)
I thought this was one of Nick Hornby's best and the audio book is well performed and well paced.
Nick's ongoing exploration of the male psyche is undertaken this time from a womans perspective. The premise of the story is that her live in partner is one of a selct group of similar obsessives who worship a reclusive ex rock star. When he releases a new album she dares criticise it on the web but, to her surprise, finds that the one person who agrees with her views is the rock star himself. A relationship is born.
The themes in Hornby's work often revolve around the male need to immerse themselves and over analyse. This comes out in various ways as diverse as record collecting, football supporting and, in this case, an ego driven need to be "experts" and completists.
Nick's insights are often painfully accurate.
"Good fun but beware the narration"
The story is fun and an interesting look at obsession, which Hornby understands all too well. However I had to warn anyone considering downloading the audio that the narration is split over three voices.
They all fit the characters really well that isn't the problem. The issue comes with the American narrator who ends up having to provide voices for the two English characters during dialogue. He not only has them pronouncing words incorrectly (the first syllable of yoghurt made to rhyme with go that kind of thing) but the attempt at an English accent is so woeful. The characters end up sounding like Australians who've lived in South Africa for many years.
It makes listening a dire and painful experience.
"Lighten the Load"
I write this on the eve of the election and in the sure and certain knowledge that whichever party wins the most seats there are difficult times ahead. Against that background I recommend this book as a welcome ray of sunshine; a small, human tale of middle age frustrations; male obsessions and the ability to change for the better.
The book is funny, heart-warming and very well read (especially by Jennifer Wiltsie). If you enjoyed 'One Day' or 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' or most Richard Curtis comedies then this is well worth getting.
"Hornby at his best!"
I've read most of Hornby's other books and thought I'd get this download for my commute to work. Have to say that I've never been happier in the traffic. It's insightful, interesting, nostalgic and incredibly witty. If you like to be entertained, you'll love this book.
"Cracking story a la High Fidelity"
I enjoyed this unabridged version as we all know we dont want good stories to end.
This is the story of a couple who live in a small fictional northern seaside town. One idolises a fictional reclusive singer songwriter but the other only likes him.
When the songwriter release an album of demos from his most successful album Juliet. Things happen as he thinks the new Juliet,Naked is the best album ever but she hates it.
She becomes friends with the singer songwriter while all there lives are falling apart.
Its a story of musical snobbery similar to high fidelity written as only Nick Hornby could
"Hornby on good form"
A great listen! If you like Nick Hornby, there's nothing not to like about this book
"An ideal audio book"
This was one of my first listens on audible and I was very pleased with my choice. I had a great time listening to this bok in the gym, whilst commuting and even doing chores at home. Time flew.. The narration is absolutely fantastic. If you like Nick Hornby, you will love listening to this book.
"A really good listen."
I really enjoyed listening to this and didn't want to put it down.
"Hornby back on track"
Humorous dysfunction, well read, makes for a good listen. If you want something that?s for the most part light-hearted, quirkily observant and will now and again put a smile on your face; then this is for you.
"many great moments"
Most people listening to iPods are not also laughing out loud, but you may do if you get this audiobook! It has the wit, the incongruity and the twists of plot typical of Nick Hornby. Perhaps some of the central section is a bit long, but overall the narration by three readers works well and it is an enjoyable listen as well as a shrewd observation of elements of our world.
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