Ok. Glad I got that out of my system (If that title went right over your head listen to this and then try again. See what I’m getting to here?). Anyway, in all seriousness, I’ve been reading Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked. And because of it, I was inspired to write ‘The best post in the world!’
It began with a scene from my past which I felt mirrored the message of the book, then continued with an artfully crafted thesis discrediting that message and finally concluded with a glorious refutation of my previous arguments in favor of the opinion that everyone on the face of the planet should read Juliet, Naked!
I know, I know. It’s ok. Take a deep breath and no I don’t mind if you light up a cigarette. That post would have been one hell of a ride. Definitely worthy of a cigarette. But I digress.
Why Didn’t I write ‘The Best Post in the World!’
To be honest, because I was scared. You never can be too careful with bits of your past. You can dole them out but you really can’t control how people will react to them. And besides, even though I’m telling the story, it really is only MY side of things. No third person omniscient in real life. I certainly could have misinterpreted the events, not been privy to certain information regarding decisions that were made, or in general I could be making part of it up anyway. Memory is a very fickle thing. With all of that in mind, I had to forgo ‘The Best Post in the World’. Instead, you have this tribute.
A tribute that without the production value of the former work may feel something like Tucker Crowe’s second release of Juliet . . . perhaps a bit Naked? But though naked, I hope it will still provide the reader with a perception of Hornby’s work and answer a most important question . . .
Why, if ‘The Best Post in the World’ (and by that name I mean me) had so many negative things to say about the book, why continue on with it at all? Why not simply throw in the towel and read something else?
Well, this is a truly difficult thing to say and I am tempted to jump into another swarm of litrical acrobatics (yes, I just invented a word and coined a phrase, both of which I believe perfectly describe the lengths I’m willing to go to avoid telling you why I enjoyed this book so damn much) so that I may never have to give an excuse for enjoying this book.
Because the truth is, I can’t articulate why I had to know how it ended. In general I found the two (perhaps three) main characters completely hopeless. I’m not sure I could spend a drink at the bar with them let alone 12hrs on a plane (2 X 4.5hr flights to San Diego & Back + layovers = The time it took me to read this book), but I did. Their lives seemed almost too unique to be relatable but not fantastic enough to warrant envy or awe or . . . whatever else. They still felt real however. It wasn’t a stretch to believe that each of the events were actually taking place.
And to witness them; I could hear myself saying “Ahh yes. If I were inspired by such passion as they are I would accomplish similar feats of excited mundanity (I’m just making up all sorts of words today).” The kicker is, that you also feel as if they are going through the motions just like you. That they are breaking into an almost-celebrity’s house to use the loo because they really will cause a scene otherwise.
Perhaps that is why the book is so enticing to read. They’re building expectations while losing faith in idols. Whether the idol is a semi famous rock star, or a relationship, or a calling is almost irrelevant. It’s more about how these characters change, and the way they feel as they’re doing it. There is also a good amount of what I’m assuming is Nick Hornby’s signature wit (the only other thing I’ve read of his is Everyone’s Reading Bastard).
Anyway, as previous paragraphs have explained, despite how much I hated the characters in this book, I loved them too. I needed to know what happens. And while I feel like there is a big way in which I could/should be disappointed, I’m not.
But I guess you’ll have to make up your own damn mind.
Bye for now!