Funny Girl – Nick Hornby

Winning the Miss Blackpool competition is not enough for Barbara Parker, who dreams of fame and holds Lucille Ball as an idol; she navigates her innocent life from her hometown to London, in search of stardom. As she meets and charms a host of diverse characters, they share their goals, fight over conflicting feelings, and together, create a TV series.

Funny Girl is an insightful account of the lives of a delightful bunch. In their personal lives, jealousies, secret longings and uncertainties, their endearing and flawed qualities are revealed. Historical facts and photographs firmly establish the novel in 1960’s London. Through real-life politicians and events, advertisements and a cartoon strip, Hornby recreates an era.

 

High Fidelity – Nick Hornby

After breaking up with Laura, Rob’s most recent ex, he asks himself the big questions about love and life. He also makes top-five lists about them, from his most memorable split-ups to Dustin Hoffman films and records made by blind musicians. Now, he is free to spend his time reorganising his record collection, arguing with Dick and Barry at the shop and daydreaming about recording artistes who look like Susan Dey. Soon, he reaches his own conclusions about love and marriage and it becomes clear where he’s been going wrong.

High Fidelity is upbeat and observant, it is an account of male self-pity and forgiveness from an instantly recognisable character. It is a charming story about people, full of reflections and brilliant glimpses into the male psyche.

About a Boy – Nick Hornby

A story of a begrudging friendship. Nick Hornby’s About a Boy is undoubtedly entertaining and full of British humour. This book describes the unlikely and dysfunctional relationship of Marcus, who needs to learn how to act his age (12-years-old)  and Will or ‘Ned’, who also needs to learn how to act his age (36-years-old).

When reading the book it is impossible not to picture Marcus, the instantly recognisable character unversed in pop culture. Marcus’ accidental wit and clumsy attempts to fix his mother’s depression are both lovable and laughable.

Chapter after chapter I found myself rooting for Will and Marcus’ friendship, despite Will’s questionable dating tactics and egotistical persona, I wanted/needed him to warm to Marcus, as I had, and to take him under his wing. Though, arguably, Will also needed a lesson or two from Marcus.

All in all, this charming book ties together the peculiar behaviour of adults, overbearing mothers, unlikely friendship, duck murder, countdown and Joni Mitchell. I loved the bright lines, clever observations and endearing characters.