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Come and talk to author NICK HORNBY about his latest novel, Funny Girl, his previous bestsellers and his exceptional writing career on Wednesday 1st July, 9-10pm

(106 Posts)
TillyMumsnetBookClub (MNHQ) Fri 15-May-15 12:07:20

Nick Hornby’s sunny new novel FUNNY GIRL is set in the 1960s, in a burgeoning era of television comedy where old rules are beginning to crumble and a new energy is transforming the scene. A young beauty queen from Blackpool arrives fresh in the big city, changes her name to Sophie Straw and lands a part in a new sitcom, written by comedy aficionados Tony and Bill. Her natural talent captivates an enormous audience and catapaults them all to national stardom. Hornby has always been a master at capturing the zeitgeist, with a knack for pulling out the right detail or the perfect reference. In this novel, he beautifully captures all the exuberance, social upheaval and excitement of the period, suffused with a love for this golden age of light entertainment.

You can find out more on our book of the month page, or take a look at Nick’s own website for the latest updates and info on all his (stunningly redesigned) previous books.

Penguin have very generously offered 50 copies of FUNNY GIRL to give to Mumsnetters. To claim yours, please go to the book of the month page and fill in your details. We’ll post here when the copies have gone. If you’re not lucky enough to bag one of those, you can always get a copy here

We are thrilled and honoured that Nick Hornby will be chatting to us live on Wednesday 1st July, 9-10pm. So whether you have a question about FUNNY GIRL, about any of Nick’s bestselling novels or would like to hear more about Nick’s writing life, please come along and say hello. Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 1st..

DuchessofMalfi Sat 16-May-15 09:17:13

Have applied - fingers crossed smile Would love to read this. I'm on the waiting list at the library for a copy, so hopefully will get to read it, whichever way, before 1st July.

thewholedamntown Sat 16-May-15 09:25:31

Applied. Nick Hornby's one of my absolute favourite authors so would love to read this.

southeastdweller Sun 17-May-15 16:30:16

I bought a copy last week. I'm a big fan of Nick's so I'm looking forward to the webchat.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 18-May-15 12:03:17

Amazingly I got an email from the library this morning to say they had a copy available for me to collect, so I won't be needing to apply for a free copy after all. Very much looking forward to reading it, once I've finished my current book smile

(This almost never happens, and I'm usually something like 80th on the waiting list, and end up having to buy a copy, so v. happy this morning).

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 04-Jun-15 20:40:13

I received this in the post today which was a lovely surprise as I hadn't had an email from MN. Looking forward to reading it. Thank you!

sparklyDMs Fri 05-Jun-15 13:10:27

Thank you MN for my book - it was a lovely surprise in the post smile

toothlessoldhag Fri 05-Jun-15 14:36:45

Thanks for my copy - looking forward to the chat - I'm a great fan of Nick Hornby.

GetHappy Fri 05-Jun-15 22:33:17

I also received a copy too!! Look forward to reading and posting my first review!!

AmyElliotDunne Fri 05-Jun-15 22:42:48

Are there any copies left? I followed the link but it won't let me see the form, saying its not open to the public, but I am signed in on here.

Anyone know why?

AnneEyhtMeyer Fri 05-Jun-15 23:00:50

That will mean that the application time has closed, Amy. They always get more applicants than books they have to give, so they close it after a week and then pick the winners.

FernieB Sat 06-Jun-15 07:00:25

Thanks for my copy too MN. It was a complete surprise as I didn't get an email either.

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 11-Jun-15 18:17:32

Loving this so far!

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Thu 11-Jun-15 18:20:35

Thanks MN

Reading it now, it feels a bit different to his other stuff, not sure how to put it in to words just yet

glenka Thu 11-Jun-15 21:26:05

Looking forward to readers my this book, I have read all his other books and I am sure this one will be just as good.

MamaMummyMum Tue 16-Jun-15 11:39:52

I have to admit that I have never read a book by Nick Hornby before, I think it's the first time where I've seen the film and not read the book (talking about About a Boy).

I'm pleased to report that I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice easy read that was light hearted and funny.

The images that accompanied the story really made the book I think, allowed me to really picture what the characters would have been like in the 60's.

This novel is highly entertaining and I think made better by how realistic it is. I'd definitely recommend others read it.

GetHappy Sun 21-Jun-15 10:07:16

Thank you for my copy and sorry for the delay in writing a review.

I loved this book. It was my first ever book by Nick Hornby and safe to say it definitely won't be my last!!

A warm hearted story, that makes you laugh. The characters are likeable and you just can't put the book down!

Every one I speak to I can't recommend this book enough!!

If you haven't got a copy then please get one ... you won't regret it!!

Whatsername24 Sun 21-Jun-15 13:29:30

Thank you for my copy. I have enjoyed reading this so much, it was so hard to put it down and I was sorry to reach the end. I thought the characterisation was wonderful, they were so well written, believable and likeable. I also thought the the use of images from the 60s was a fantastic idea. It really brought it all to life and made the story even more realistic.

I've read all of Nick Hornby's books and this has to be one of my favourites.

FernieB Mon 22-Jun-15 15:20:43

A lovely, warm, happy read. Really enjoyed it and found all the characters likeable. Would be a great holiday read as it's easy to become happily absorbed.

I've read nearly all of Nick Hornby's books and this is my favourite (also enjoyed About a Boy). I have found some of his previous books to feel more like screenplays than novels and I have actually preferred the films to the books which is unusual for me. Funny Girl flows beautifully and does feel like a stand alone novel, although I'm sure the screenplay is probably in the offing.

FawnDrench Mon 22-Jun-15 16:56:50

So pleased Mumsnet has introduced me to the writing of Nick Hornby. Thank you.

I am now a fan, and plan to read some of his other works over the Summer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging, witty, and amusing book.
Having lived through the sixties myself I felt Nick Hornby really did justice to the decade and managed to convey quite a few of its "peculiarities".
Furthermore, reading this delightful book brought back some lovely personal memories which was an added and unexpected bonus!

Looking forward to the inevitable film.....

antimatter Mon 22-Jun-15 17:48:23

I love, love, love Nick Hornby and his writing.

I hope there will be many books to come (I read most of them including Funny Girl). Learned a lot about 60's in London and how comedies are (were?) produced.

hackmum Mon 22-Jun-15 18:01:51

I am a big Nick Hornby fan and have read all his books. I generally buy them the day they come out (Funny Girl being no exception).

What I loved about Funny Girl was that it felt like a "proper" novel, which is a hard thing to describe but it gave me the feeling I used to have when reading a novel as a child, which is that I felt completely involved in the world of the novel, and really believed in the characters. I rarely experience that suspension of disbelief while reading as an adult. I felt like a completely plausible alternative version of the 60s - at the end I genuinely wanted to believe that it had all really happened.

One of the many things I liked about it, as someone who was a child at the tail end of the 60s, was that it didn't just use the obvious reference points like The Beatles. Instead it used things like The Gambols cartoon strip - anyone else remember that? It just really took me back.

It reminded me a little bit of comic books by Michael Frayn and David Lodge and I'd like to ask Nick if that was an influence he felt while writing it. I may well think of other questions, though.

BearAusten Mon 22-Jun-15 22:53:48

I have really enjoyed this humorous novel. I found it to be an easy, light read.

The eclectic range of characters work particularly well together. The central characters and their relationships do not seem at all contrived, perhaps because they are flawed and have complicated lives and backgrounds. I have an affection for all of them, especially Sophie. Surprisingly, I felt a certain degree of sympathy for Clive, even taking into account that he was a serial philanderer and rather self obsessed.

I liked the way the fictional characters were grounded in history by real people, cartoons and photographs from the sixties, the period in which the novel is set.

Looking at the back of the book, I noticed the photograph on the book cover is by John French, a fashion photographer. (I initially I thought this was a contemporary photograph, not an authentic one from the fifties/sixties.) Did you choose this image for the cover? Which cover do you prefer the hardback version or the paperback one?

Did you watch the first series of Till Death Us Do Part? Did you watch repeats of 'I Love Lucy'? What comedy programmes did you watch when you were a child?

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Thu 25-Jun-15 14:55:59

Well I grounded to a complete halt on this one - I couldnt finish it (very off for me, I read all the time and love to read

I found it stilted and disjointed, and i didnt like the flow. Admittedly, the 1960s is not my favourite era so maybe thats why i couldn't get a hold of it.

I didnt like any of the characters, and didnt care what happened to them.

I read High Fidelity and some other ones and loved them.

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Thu 25-Jun-15 14:56:28

grounded? or ground, think i should have put ground

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