Book review: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
February 17, 2015 9 Comments
From the publishers: “Funny Girl is the story of a popular 1960s tv comedy series. The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, who each harbour a secret. The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, who loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star Clive, who feels he’s destined for better things. And most of all Sophie Straw, once Barbara Parker, Miss Blackpool 1964, who’s changed her name and abandoned her old life because she just wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy fame. Nick Hornby’s new novel is about popular culture, youth and old age, fame, class and teamwork. It offers a wonderfully captivating portrait of youthful exuberance and creativity, and of a period when both were suddenly allowed to flourish.”
Funny Girl: What I thought
I read this book for my face-to-face book group. I didn’t like the idea of the book, but I do like the writer, so okay, I was happy to try.
It turned out to be a really good story. Somehow, I never really engaged with Sophie/Barbara, the main character, although it could be argued that the show itself is the main character. I loved the feel of the 1960s and the story behind the (fictional) TV series.
Sophie is quite a handful and the show is built around her, a novice actress from Blackpool (of all places!). We follow the story of the writers, who are always living in fear of running out of ideas. Their discussions on what should be in each next episode are fun to read. The director, Dennis, is one of a kind and one can but hope he’ll be happy in the end.
The writing is very smooth and easy – not a book that you have to struggle to get through. Great fun to read, although I did find there wasn’t all that much to discuss with the book group about this book. Just read it for yourself, just for fun.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (okay)
Number of pages: 346
First published: 2014
I got this: bought in bookstore
Genre: Historical fiction