Book reviews Critiques littéraires Books recently published in english and french.

mardi 9 février 2010

Nick Hornby, Juliet, Naked, Penguin 2009

If you want to read about pop culture in Britain and incidentally about pop music in an intelligent manner, you pick up one of his books and have a great time; he is very funny, the contemporary British way of life has no secret for him , including a ferocious passion for football , hence the quantity of successful films made out of his books. Now both cynicism and humanity mix in his tone, a certain cruelty even peaks in the description of failed marriages, terrifying adolescents bent on suicide or stasis, and in generally unformed adults usually known as losers. He is unbeatable on these subjects and terribly funny ,especially in the bouncing dialogues thrown in either british or american English with all the current slang available. You live the scene with his characters against your better judgment, even when they e-mail each other furiously.

Here , in his latest novel we face an an aged and recluse rock singer and song writer, Tucker Crowe, resembling both Bob Dylan and the late Salinger , who is about to release afailed re -hash of his greatest hit "Juliet" ,under the name of "Juliet,Naked ". Through the net he gets in touch with a couple of insane middle aged fans in Britain ,notable the lady in the trio, Annie. The life style of self styled pop fans has to be read to be believed and Hornby knows these folks very well. It is hilarious and somewhat pathetic , completely obsessive as the cult of Elvis could be and of course, its practitioners are shut inside a imprisoned existence rendering them ideal victims. Annie is no exception and gets into an e mail relationship with the famed Tucker Crowe,who turns out to be the neurotic predator of all times nursing his brat kid,Jackson..alonf with him. The saga of these two anti heroes is something else . Tucker arrives in London for a family reunion of ex- wives and various abandoned children ,and upset at the sight of all these angry souls,he suffers a heart attack on arrival , and is whisked in a hospital ; he meets Annie on his hospital bed him and persuades her to abduct him and take them away with >little Jackson . They flee and go settle incredibly in her modest little house in a fearful little sea side town , trying to live together for a few days on various couches . Life is difficult and humans almost always fail in their attempted unions although Annie feels that this encounter counts as an epiphany, but epiphanies unfortunately always get ignored .For a failed love affair at the onset of late middle age between a faintly romantic spinster and a cardiac patient, Hornby is the finest choice and you should read this novel: it is a gem.

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Brussels, Belgium
Née à Bruxelles, mère résistante et sculpteur, père homme d’affaires, études à l ’Université libre de Bruxelles ( Philosophie et Lettres ; arts primitifs), puis à Harvard ( anthropologie), Rutgers New Brunswick, Duke University .N.C. USA ( littérature comparée, Masters et Doctorat.) Thèse publiée (Ph.D) sur Valéry et Mallarmé. Enseignement universitaire aux USA, en France (Aix en Provence) et au Liban (comme coopérant) ,littérature et philosophie , en français ou anglais. Mariée en premières noces à un avocat américain G.Robert Wills et puis à un peintre et publiciste Français, Jean- Pierre Rhein (décédé). La plupart des publications sous le nom de Wills.Vit à Bruxelles.