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A little bit of self-pimpage

By 10.Dec.094 Comments

I don’t do this very often. But I think some of you Westernerds should head over to MN Reads to check out my review of Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked. Have you read it? Will you read it so we can discuss what it means to be a weirdo fan on the Internet?

One of the main characters has an undeniable similarity to our own Mr. Paul Westerberg (cult-rocker turned soccer dad). I’d like one of y’all who are vastly more knowledgeable about the history of rock & roll and The ‘Mats to see if there are anymore similarities, or who Tucker Crowe (that’s the character) could be based on.

Read it! It’ll be fun.


I am the queen of the underground, a bad ungrateful bunny.


  • Safe_Matt says:

    I’m a big fan of Nick Hornby (fever pitch, for Arsenal fans (my football team!) is pretty legendary) and recently read his book 31 Songs.. Its basically little essays on 31 of his favourite songs and the aspects of them that make them important.. And one of the songs is ‘Born For Me’, which I was so happy about! I didn’t expect it at all.. And he mentions the ‘Mats a few times in the book in regards to other songs and things.. I just started ‘Juliet, Naked’ today and as soon read the back of the book, I was pretty sure he must be based at least a little bit on Paul Westerberg, then thought I’d see what other people thought about it on the internet, and was really happy to see this! I didnt get far as I had to come out here to the library, but I cant wait to get stuck into it now!
    Just thought I’d let you know that Hornby is a fan of Paul Westerberg if you didn’t already know!
    Nice one, Matt.

  • CNote says:

    You’re right Jodi, Hornby is at his best when writing about music. 31 Songs and High Fidelity fabulous, but the others I’ve read Slam and Long Way Down- not so great.

    I’ll still take a winger on this one and report back when I’m done.

  • Keith says:

    This was exactly what I thought. Tucker Crowe: An 80’s songwriter, somewhat reclusive, tempestuous with an american midwest origin. Fall downstairberg must’ve been at least a partial influence for this book.
    Glad I’m not alone on this.

  • CNote says:

    Okay, got to Juliet Naked over the weekend.

    I thought Hornby did a reasonably artful job of sketching the how where and why of the of major characters situations and struggles, though the I would’ve liked the Tucker Crowe-Grace thing to have gone a little deeper and I thought the fanboy portrait of Duncan was a little over the top- making 9 playlists of the same album from bootlegs? Do people really do that?

    Besides some of the stuff about music, which Hornby is always good at and Jodi pointed out the real strength of the book though to me is the internal dialogue of Annie. I really liked the exposition of her reasoning process, the British voice that literally filled my head as she made her case for herself. It took some time, but eventually she won me over- she deserved better in spite of hew own lethargy in the relationship with Duncan.
    But then, just as I’m won over, she pretends to use contraception, thus hoping Tucker will impregnate her even though she/we just went through a this whole fucking saga about the damage done as a result of an absent father, the pain it caused Tucker to be an absent father, whom she is in love with. It seemed totally illogical with the character Honrby built throughout the rest of the book. She was better than that.

    That’s the problem and frustrating thing with Hornby, he writes this witty biting dialogue that’s really clever, creates these fabulous internal conversations and then diminishes it with illogical story elements. Like, who in their right mind would’ve assembled all of Tucker’s wayward children in the hospital just after he had a heart attack? And Duncan pissing in Julie Beatty’s house. I understand the fanboy thing he was going for, but Duncan, despite being a douchbag, would’ve understood the consequences of getting caught and wouldn’t have done it. Maybe I could’ve bought it with a female character who has to sit down, but a guy can spray his shit anywhere, just about.

    Aside from these little flaws I liked the book and would recommend it.

    Except for some a few similarities about place and time I don’t get the Westerberg connection. Yeah, Paul isn’t putting out any finished music and he won’t tour, but he’s around- SPIN interview, NY Times obit of Alex Chilton, the Glen Campbell thing.

    Favorite scene was Farmer John singing Farmer John…whoa woha

    I looked up:
    Dobie Gray sang that tune from the 70’s, Drift Away : Gimmie the beat boy and free my soul/ I wanna get lost in your rock-n-roll… and Drift Away

    Edelweiss by Vince Hill, which Annie referenced, is something like Barbara Streisand would sing…