To Be Honest: Juliet Naked

Welcome to To Be Honest, HBT where I use my favorite quotes from a recent book I’ve read, categorize them, and explain my thoughts on the book as a whole. I tend to find meaning in everything, but I don’t really force it. Most “reviews” are spoiler free and provide a warning prior to a spoiler-filled section.

To Be Honest Juliet Naked Nick Hornby Book Review Book Quotes

This week I’m discussing Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby.

Nick Hornby

180 The story revolves around the wife of a guy who is obsessed with this old singer Tucker Crowe. Her husband runs a website that dissects Tucker Crowe’s lyrics. Which made me think: are we going too far? Is this sad? I wonder.

Learned Something:
32 Luddite- opposed to technology.

186 Brylcreem- brand of hairstyling products for men.


39 He had to calm the rage, tame it and shape it so that it could be contained in the tight-fitting songs. The he had to dress it up so that it sounded more like itself.

–> poetic way of describing songwriting.

97 No quote. Jackson freaks out when his dad might be a granddad because he’ll be old and die soon. This was a very cute moment and very mature realization for Jackson to have.

Duncan had fallen asleep quickly, but she had lain awake, listening to him snoring and not liking him. Everyone disliked their partners at some time or another, she knew that. But she’d spent her hours in the dark wondering whether she’d ever liked him. Would it really have been so much worse to spend those years alone? Why did there have to be someone else in the room while she was eating, watching TV, sleeping? A partner was supposed to be some mark of success: anyone who shared a bed with someone on a nightly basis had proved herself capable in some way, no? Of something? But her relationship now seemed to her to betoken failure, not success. She and Duncan had ended up together because they were the last two people to be picked for a sports team, and she felt she was better at sports than that.

–> What a refreshing admission! The last line in this passage is depressing. She feels like she settled and she is disappointed with her choice. Kind of a fear-instilling moment for me.

225 Consistency and repetition were beginning to make the lie feel something like the truth, in the way that a path eventually becomes a path, if enough people walk along it.

–> When you lie, you lie to yourself. Boy is this true. There were times when I was really young and I would lie about all sorts of things because either I wanted to sound cooler (I had family that lived in Orlando) or because I actually wanted the lie to be true (I had a twin who lived in Orlando). At certain moments I’d get excited about the reality of the lie until I realized that I was lying to myself and it was beginning to be harmful.

232 I’m still pretty sick about what I’ve lost, but I only admit it to myself late at night, which is probably why I’m not the best sleeper.

–> Isn’t that what insomnia is? The inability to control your thoughts and calm your mind… This furthers the scary nature of her disappointing realization that she doesn’t really like her husband.

374-5 She had somehow constructed a life so empty that she was in the middle of the defining narrative incident of the last ten years, and what did it consist of, really?

–> Oof, depressing.

Just Funny:

45 “you’re crying about music?” The woman looked at him as if he were some kind of pervert.

128 They made it hard for you to jump off bridges, or to smoke, to own a gun, to become a gynecologist.


58 Punch and Judy- I’ve never heard of Punch and Judy dolls, but this book is the second one I’ve read in a short while that mentioned the dolls. Gone Girl mentions them often too and they play a more significant and symbolic part.

401 Cloud Cuckoo Land- I’m not a big fan of Aristophanes because he’s very topical which matches his brand of comedy. One of the more memorable works he wrote is The Birds where Cloud Cuckoo Land originated. This was a fun Classical Cultures Major moment for me. /smile


Final Thoughts
At the end of the novel we know that our leading lady did something deceptive so that she could finally have a baby. This is pretty similar to another book I recently read where the main character was a psycho and also impregnates herself for other reasons. Highlight the text if you want the ending of another book spoiled for you, you’ve been warned: Gone Girl. Being that I read the negative novel first it colored my opinion of Annie. Obviously, her actions are unethical to say the least, but as I generally liked her as a person throughout the novel, this really upset me since I was now disgusted by the comparison to the other novel’s character. Has that ever happened to you? To be honest, I’m finding I read similar books very coincidentally. Or maybe I am paying more careful attention and realizing little things that make them comparable to me and me only.

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