Duncan is fanatical about a reclusive singer-songwriter called Tucker Crowe, who made a couple of critically acclaimed albums before walking away from fame into obscurity. Duncan runs a fan website where similarly-minded Tucker obsessives. "Juliet, Naked" is the name on a tape sent to Duncan by the record company, which contains demo versions of songs which made up Tucker's seminal "Juliet" album. Annie, Duncan's partner, posts a review of the tape on to Duncan's website, and Tucker himself replies.
Having recently read Fever Pitch I couldn't help but see parallels (even though that was his first book, and this is his most recent). In FP, Hornby considers how, while he wants a girlfriend who likes football, he doesn't feel that she deserves to celebrate when Arsenal wins the cup because she's not spent as much time as he has in previous seasons watching them play badly.
Similarly, Duncan wants Annie to appreciate and like Tucker's music, but doesn't like it when she has opinions of her own which differ from his: it's Duncan that was there first, after all, so what right does Annie have to challenge his judgements?
Very readable, and quite funny, but I don't think it was a classic. Not as good as Slam although it was better than Long Way Down. Although to be fair, I read it in a single day, when I wasn't feeling very well, so maybe I didn't get as much out of it as I should have.
Completed : 08-Mar-2010