Funny Girl by Nick HornbySet in 1960s London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingenue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters.
Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornbys Funny Girl 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.
The Bottom Line: 'Funny Girl' By Nick Hornby
Novels should be like TV. It starts in , in northern England, where Barbara Parker is just about to win the Miss Blackpool pageant. The opening scene of wholesome poolside banter between Barbara and her father sets the tone. Look at you. Barbara, who adopts the stage name Sophie Straw, is not an especially dynamic character. And most of what she does best is wisely left off the page. She comes across as less fierce than Hornby suggests we take her.
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Book Review: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
The Bottom Line is a weekly review combining plot description and analysis with fun tidbits about the book. A Nick Hornby book has become a minor pop cultural event. His novels High Fidelity and About a Boy , and his memoir Fever Pitch , all inspired wildly popular film adaptations, and About a Boy was recently brought to the small screen in the form of a sitcom starring Minnie Driver. His digestible blend of pop nerdery and heartwarming relationship growth sets his books apart from the average dude lit, and seems to scratch an itch shared widely by mass culture aficionados. By the second chapter, however, Barbara has vamoosed to London -- a very positive development for the ambitious character, but one that somehow sucks all the life out of the book. What follows are chapters and chapters of dull exposition delineating her transformation into the more fetchingly named Sophie Straw, her plum role on a major sitcom, her rise to immediate stardom, and her ultimate fading away into relative obscurity. Meanwhile, despite the length of the book, the heroine never seems to develop into more than a nice, jolly blonde.