Wednesday, January 06, 2010


It's been quite a while since I took a stab at writing a book review. I love talking about books, but for some reason find reviews difficult. In this case, I was writing the review with a very specific audience in mind -- obsessive Springsteen fans -- and that made it easier. So you can go over to Blogness to read my review of Nick Hornby's fun new novel, Juliet, Naked.

And over here, where my audience (inasmuch as I have one...) tends towards the literary sort, I want to post an excerpt from Hornby's book, because he manages to describe a particular frame of mind -- call it long-term writer's block, or something like that, though I don't actually believe in "writer's block" myself -- so vividly. I think some of y'all might recognize it... I know I do. Hopefully, if you do, it's because you used to feel this way and you don't anymore. The protagonist here is Tucker Crowe, a rock singer/songwriter who hasn't written or played any new music in years.
It wasn't as if he was a happy slacker, either. He'd never been able to shrug away the loss of his talent, for want of a better word to describe whatever the hell it was he once had. Sure, he'd got used to the idea that there wouldn't be a new album, or even a new song, anytime soon, but he'd never learned to look on his inability to write as anything other than a temporary state, which meant that he was permanently unsettled, as if he were in an airport lounge waiting for a plane. In the old days, when he flew a lot, he'd never been able to get absorbed in a book until the plane had taken off, so he'd spent the pre-boarding time flicking through magazines and browsing in gift shops, and that's what the last couple of decades had felt like: one long flick through a magazine. If he'd known how long he was going to spend in the airport lounge of his own life, he'd have made different travel arrangements, but instead he'd sat there, sighing and fidgeting and, more often than was ever really acceptable, snapping at his traveling companions.
(from Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, pg. 159)

1 comment:

Jessie Carty said...

I find writing reviews very draining, but I think you picked a great excerpt because now I am interested in reading the book :)