Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Double Trouble: Nick Hornby

Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby
ISBN: 1594488878 

I read this as a pre-release from work, and knew I'd get through it in about two days (amidst all the other weekend mucking about). Hornby's books are always so amusing in their scenarios and character development, that you can't help but have a great time reading them. His prose really delivers incredible humorous characters, and this latest is no different!

Annie's fed up with her Crowe-crazed boyfriend and their fifteen year long indecision on whether the relationship is even worth the minute amount of work they put into it; Crowe is the very same musician that said boyfriend is enamored with, although he's as cowardly and spineless a man as can be (don't get me wrong, I liked him... he reminds me of all of those friends you have, that are so talented and smart yet never seem to do anything). In all of the hectic events circling both of these characters, they manage to meet, make things worse, and force a little bit of growing-up upon each other in true absurd Hornby style!

How to be Good, Nick Hornby
ISBN: 1573221937

I suppose I read this hoping it would be a funny look at marriages, the good guy/bad guy dynamics in relationships, and fidelity; but it was a three hundred page analysis of a woman's good deeds versus her bad deeds, and the excuses she makes that Hornby assumes we will all relate to.

Usually Hornby describes a likable if not muddled character who finds himself muddling up the lives of those he/she cares about, whilst trying to figure themselves out and growing in some way as a person after some giggle inducing madcap adventure; Katie was not likable, and the scenarios Hornby tries to make funny come off a bit depressing.

Hornby's typical rants of internal analysis aren't usually the bulk of the book, which makes for more amusing dialogue than we have here, as well as more chaotic WTF moments (that make the reader laugh, and the protagonist rethink their perspective); not here, however. David's sudden personality switch would have been more amusing if he had slipped periodically throughout, rather than in the last chapter suddenly admitting he wanted to get shot of GoodNews. I guess I just didn't find the characters' reactions that believable. It felt very forced by the end.

Points for demonstrating that smug righteousness is incredibly annoying, though! Thank God the son had some balls, too.

PS: Why am I more articulate when I find issues?!

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