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Funny Girl: A Novel
by Nick Hornby

Published: 2016-02-02
Paperback : 480 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
A brilliant novel from the bestselling author of High FidelityAbout a Boy, and A Long Way Down.

Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television ...
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Introduction

A brilliant novel from the bestselling author of High FidelityAbout a Boy, and A Long Way Down.

Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: No, Nick Hornby’s latest is not a retelling of the story made famous by the old Barbara Streisand movie called Funny Girl – but the allusion to pop culture of the 1960s in this delightful novel is not coincidental. On the surface, this Funny Girl is about a working class English girl who comes of age as a TV star in the days of Carnaby Street, the Beatles, and the musical Hair; what it’s also about is the way the world turned over for everybody – but especially actors and writers -- in that explosive era. Sophie Straw is the gorgeous girl from Blackpool who, like Lucille Ball (to whom Hornby slyly introduces the starstruck Sophie in a late scene), is originally deemed too pretty to be funny; like Ball, she manages through wit, decency and pratfall to become her nation’s sweetheart. She’s a great character, and readers – like everyone in swinging London – will love her. But if Sophie is the star, the rest of the population here – the hilariously narcissistic lover/co-star, the director who pines for Sophie for years, and, my favorite, the writers who give her her vehicles – are exceptional supporting players. And Hornby, who was a bit of a pop culture wunderkind himself, is wise about the way artists’ (especially writers’) careers morph and change, and what it’s like to define a cultural moment and then watch yourself live past it. -- Sara Nelson

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  "Pleasant, enjoyable read - but not gripping. "by bmedvid (see profile) 02/13/17

I found this book to be an easy and pleasant read. I did not find it gripping, but I did enjoy seeing a BBC comedy television show through the eyes of actors, writer, and producer, even if fictional. This... (read more)

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