Friday, 7 October 2016

juliet, naked

On Friday 27th May I finished Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby. I enjoyed it, though it was a familiar structure of obsessive chap neglecting and in danger of losing his long-suffering and far superior partner (although, being a fan of detective fiction and romantic comedy, I'm very much at ease with familiar structures).

The copy I had had some annotations in it on the first few pages (mostly just marking the first mentions of characters' names), but nothing beyond the post-it note bookmark very near the start, which suggested the reader was meant to be studying it in some way (book group rather than academic, I guess) hadn't got very far with it.

Having dipped my toe into Wikipedia editing, I was amused to be struck by what appeared to be the inauthenticity of the fictional Wikipedia entries in the book, which contained much material which would have been edited or deletd as being too much 'point of view'.

First line: They had flown from England to Minneapolis to look at a toilet.
Last line: Dear God.
Dedication: For Amanda, with love and thanks

The cover design is interesting, in that one on level it's not very remarkable - it's a soft cartoonish illustration with soft lettering, all somewhat retro (and the photo I took of it is appropriately soft-focus), but incorporating bits of photos within the illustration - but then it struck me that it looked like the kind of cover you'd get on light fiction aimed at women (at first glance, at least, without the photo insert/collage effect), and I wondered if it was a conscious effort to make it look less like a 'book for men', more about relationships than a male obsession such as music or football. (And, of course, Nick Hornby writes well about both relationships and the obsessions of men.) On the other hand, reading in general is reckoned to be more of a female than a male pursuit, so you might think they would make it look more like a 'book for men' so that men would think it's okay to buy it. But then, also on that hand, perhaps more women buy fiction than men.

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