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Friday, May 22, 2015

Funny Girl: A Novel

I have a confession -- this is my first Nick Hornby experience. [Pause while I wait for book lovers the world over to yell in my face.] I can't quite tell you why that's the case, only that it is. I have added About a Boy and a few others to my list, but here is his newest -- Funny Girl

Barbara has known since she was a little girl that she is funny -- and that she should one day be a star. She competes in a local beauty pageant, wins, and immediately abdicates as she can't imagine spending one more whole year in her provincial town. Instead, she hightails it to London and work in a local department store. After a chance encounter in a club with a modeling agent, she skyrockets to fame in a comedy series that will entertain the UK for years. She is Sophie Straw, comedienne extraordinaire. As she seeks jokes, fame, and love, we follow Sophie through her career as a beloved star.

This book was just everything. I couldn't put it down, because it was just that delightful and full of gusto. I loved Barbara, and I grew to love the Sophie she became so early on in the book. Sophie was so full of spunk and relish of life and so full of love for everyone and everything. We follow her through her affair with her co-star to her discovery of her love for the quiet guy hanging out in the back (which was a reminder of Mr. Big's "Be With You," for all of you children of the 80's). Her trajectory through being "discovered" after a million auditions to insisting on auditioning for the smallest of parts, all the way through complete fame and lasting impact, was tinged with a twinge of happiness for a beloved member of the family. Someone who deserves the absolute best in life and got it. That friend you aren't jealous over, because it's just something that she deserved to have.

Charming. This book was absolutely charming. It was also full of substance, which is something you don't always get with books that have adjectives thrown around them like charming, sweet, lovely, and full of life. This book really was the whole package, and I found myself hoping that there was secret footage of Barbara and Jim hanging around somewhere on the internet. It sounded like a show I would really love, just as much as I loved this story and Hornby's incredibly prose to tell us about a girl with a dream. 

For purchase below. 

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