• Oh my god, Past Jenny is HILARIOUS (you know, Present Jenny is pretty damn funny, too). I have a soft spot for High Fidelity, but there’s no denying how quickly Nick Hornby would be filed under chick lit and banished with a fluff cover if he were a woman. I have a copy of this, but just haven’t been able to give myself the push to pick it up…this could be it!

    • Do! It’s awfully fun! if you’re in the mood for something that’s just fun and dear, this is the book for you!

  • I think you’re quite right that Nick Hornby wouldn’t get the attention he does if he were a women. Whenever Jennifer Weiner talks about women who write commercial fiction not getting reviewed in newspapers, I think of Nick Hornby. If his books get reviewed (and they do), so should Weiner’s. They’re in very much the same category. That said, I think his books are great books of their type, not deep or meaty, but often insightful and enjoyable to read. He’s not a must-read for me, but when I’m in the right mood, I really enjoy his books. This one isn’t a particularly high priority for me, but I may get around to it one day.

    • They’re VERY much in the same category! Also because I don’t enjoy either of them that much (until now suddenly) — though people keep recommending Nick Hornby to me, and nobody ever recommends Jennifer Weiner because that’s, like, embarrassing. :/

  • Jenny K

    Thanks. Jenny, for the review. I heard Nick Hornby being interviewed on NPR about this book, and had been interested. But I hadn’t picked it up yet because I’d never been drawn into his work before, primarily due to the movie versions.

    • Oh, what movie versions of his books haven’t you liked? Or is that you’ve liked them too much and thus haven’t been able to enjoy the books? I quite liked About a Boy! And people seem preeeetty into the film version of High Fidelity.

  • Haha, wow past-Jenny, harsh words. Hehe.

    I’ve only read High Fidelity & About a Boy, but he is one of those authors where I feel like I’ve read more.

    I’m not sure I want to read Funny Girl, maybe if I needed a segue-way between two hard hitting novels.

    • I think I read How to Be Good, A Long Way Down, and Juliet, Naked. And now this, and this is the only one I’ve liked. People kept recommending Nick Hornby, and I kept trying again — which, at last, I am glad I did!

  • Care

    I wish that you had the LIKE button but perhaps that is me wanting to be lazy and yet also wanting you to know I was here but I don’t have anything to say or add or comment on other than “I haven’t ever read Nick Hornby” and not because I don’t have any of his books on my tbr but his seem to get passed over for books that sound more exciting. “LIKE”

    • I used to have it! But it messed up my commenting structure, and people weren’t able to comment! Maybe I’ll try again, maybe the plug-in has improved since my last attempt.

      • Care

        nah, it’s good for me to think in constructive sentences and make them share-worthy. 😀

  • Words for Worms

    Haaaaaaaaaaa! I love everything about this post. I will say, Funny Girl just moved up a couple of notches on my TBR (it’s on my Scribd Audio list. Eeep!) I love that one of his characters is O.D. When my SIL got married (actually, her anniversary is today) one of her bridesmaids was ALSO named Jenny. So I started calling her O.J. as in “Other Jenny.” She was a very good sport about it, we bonded while drinking too much. And then I called a guy in a bar a douchebag for wearing boat shoes… I’ve digressed terribly, haven’t I?

  • Nishita

    I haven’t read any of his books. I’ve heard them frequently referred to as lad-lit, which is a tad off-putting. This one sounds quite sweet though.

    • Ahahahaha, lad-lit, that’s so APT! And captures what I haven’t liked about them. However, Funny Girl is the least-amount lad-lit of any of his books I’ve read so far.

  • Jeanne

    Like Teresa, i have to be in the right mood for Hornby-reading. Perhaps I’ll look for this one next time that mood comes on.

  • Alley

    Ahaha I like past Jenny’s snark, even if I do like Hornby. Or at least, I like High Fidelity and realize I haven’t read anything else of his. But I always think I should and maybe I should go for this one before any of the other “below-average vegetarian sushi” options.

    Also I appreciate the tags on this post.

    • I confess I have never read High Fidelity. I am very insecure in my music knowledge, and I always think High Fidelity would make me feel stupid. So I cannot speak to its quality vis-a-vis other Hornby books.

      • Alley

        HF is very good so I’d recommend it and my musical knowledge is pretty much nothing. I mean, if I were to meet the characters in real life, they would DEFINITELY make fun of me for knowing just nothing, but you don’t really need to know anything to enjoy. (I also recommend the movie which is pretty much exactly the book.)

  • Haven’t read a Hornby book yet but I do have Juliet, Naked on my shelves. I’ve never felt that his books are for me but I still want to give them a try.

    Oh and I like the old Jenny’s review. 😀

    • Yeeeeah, I didn’t love Juliet, Naked. After I finished Juliet, Naked, I thought, well, I’m pretty much done with reading Nick Hornby now. (But I’m glad I didn’t keep to that!)

  • annelibera

    So, 1) I very much enjoy your blog and 2) haven’t commented before. I really like Nick Hornby although along the lines of what my son said about the movie “Love, Actually” – I like him more than I should, but I really like him. And I live my life with comedians. So “Funny Girl” is on my Kindle and just moved up a bit based on this.

    • There’s no “should”! A lot of people adore Nick Hornby; he’s just never fully worked for me before. But Funny Girl was a delight.

  • litlove

    Mr Litlove would agree with you completely about Hornby’s novels over the past few years. I think he’d call them vegetarian sushi too. So I’m delighted to learn that his new one is a big improvement. I love his essays about books and tend to think of him as someone who can write but who has to cast around a lot for a story. Perhaps he’s finally found one.

    • It’s not so tremendously story-heavy, this one. But the dialogue is very sparkling, and it’s a fast read. I liked it a lot.

  • Christina @ You Book Me…

    I just read this recently! I enjoyed it, but I totally agree with you about the last section with the time jump. I almost always hate epilogues, and this definitely felt like one.

    Of course, I also like most of Hornby’s other books. My favorite is High Fidelity, if you ever want to give him another chance!

  • Heather

    I like Nick Hornby’s nonfiction “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” books but haven’t read any of his novels – but maybe I should give this one a chance!

  • Stefanie @ So Many Books

    I’ve only read Hornby’s Believer columns and love those but have been afraid to venture into his fiction. I must say I admire your persistence, three unsatisfying Hornby books under you belt and yet you try a fourth. Glad it turned out to be good!

  • JoV (Bibliojunkie)

    Living in the British Isle, I am suppose to like Nick Hornsby. I read Julia and ended up feeling Meh about Hornsby but maybe because I haven’t read all the other better work of his books yet. I look forward to read some of it as I have a few sitting on my shelves or Kindle (due to him being widely read in UK, his books are easily found in used books stores!).

  • JoV (Bibliojunkie)

    Sorry I meant, Juliet, Naked, not Julia. See? I forgotten the title! lol

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