Funny Girl

by Nick Hornby

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LoveReading View on Funny Girl

May 2015 Book of the Month.

I would like to say ‘classic’ Hornby but the thing I most like about his writing is that the stories are all different, so one can hardly say ‘classic’. But it is all one would expect. Light but entertaining, a story about people. It’s about an inspiring actress-cum-comedian from Blackpool who wins a beauty contest but really doesn’t want to spend a year opening supermarkets! We are in the early 1960s. She gives back her crown and flees to London. We follow her through early struggles and on into falling on her feet in a ‘ground breaking’ series for the BBC. A Lancashire accent, a working-class character and dealing with man/woman becoming husband/wife and eventually baby issues. Years later, at the 50 year celebration, a young producer gets the idea of putting on a play about “what happened next”. We, of course, have followed the main players all the way through in a clever slice of cultural history. Utterly enthralling and highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

 

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

Sarah Broadhurst

Funny Girl Synopsis

Make them laugh and they're yours forever...It's the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by Sophie Straw, a former Blackpool beauty queen turned prime-time sitcom star. Sophie is a comic genius and a bombshell to boot - she might just have it all. Behind the scenes of her smash-hit show, Sophie is falling madly in love - with comedy. Her cast and crew are eccentric, dysfunctional and utterly charming: foppish heartthrob Clive, Oxbridge-survivor Dennis, sarcastic scriptwriting duo Tony and Bill. Most importantly, every single one of her new friends is very, very funny. Together they will make TV history, find fame and fortune, and maybe even discover the secret of happiness. From the bestselling author of About a Boy comes a story about a girl. This is an exuberant, colourful snapshot of 1960s London, a city brimming with energy and optimism and possibility.

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Funny Girl Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Nicola Kingswell - 'Life and death of a 1960’s sitcom...This is a really easy to read, funny, moving, heart-warming novel that stays with you long after the curtain has come down.' Read full review >
  • Val Rowe - 'The characters are skillfully described and the plot unravels at a good pace, although it is rather predictable...Not Nick Hornby at his best.' Read full review >
  • Julie Bertschin - 'Based in the 1960's when art, television/radio entertainment and culture as a whole was changing so rapidly this novel immerses the reader in its time warp. Charming and funny, a very different read!' Read full review >
  • Evelyn Love- Gajardo - 'Funny Girl is different from some of his other books, as this time the main character is female, but equally enjoyable.' Read full review >
  • Jennifer Moville - 'Nick Hornby writes books that keep us all glued to the pages with more than a giggle or two along the way.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Hall - 'Hornby returning to his brilliant best, fizzing and crackling with comedy...A cleverly constructed novel which manages to evoke a whole era whilst also managing to portray characters who I genuinely adored!' Read full review >
  • Victoria Whish - 'This is a joyous, life-affirming read of a world before political correctness and of rapid cultural and social change. Tune in, drop out and relax with this lovely book!' Read full review >
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Nick Hornby has written a novel that screams to be read and to be made into a TV series. A laugh a minute, it has everything you could wish for.' Read full review >
  • Verity Langley - 'Nick Hornby’s book was a revelation to me, having not read him before...I loved it - I really did.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Musk - 'A most enjoyable and entertaining book.  Very funny in parts and well-observed.  Sophie is a delight and you are rooting for her all the way through.' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'Fresh and vibrant, his writing has a natural flow to it.  I liked this book very much and would heartily recommend it.' Read full review >
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Oh dear.  We all have that 'bad day in the office' and Funny Girl is evidence that Nick Hornby is no different to the rest of us!' Read full review >
  • Sheila Dale - 'Good characters and an easy read.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Williams - 'Pleasant, light read but not his best.' Read full review >
  • Emma Barton - 'This is a fantastically unique book telling the story of a 1960's Sit Com and the characters associated with its production.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'A refreshingly funny story.' Read full review >
  • Jane Nicol - 'Being a child of the sixties I was immediately transported back to that exciting, wonderful time.' Read full review >
  • Clair Chaytors - 'A great read for fans of the sixties…' Read full review >
  • Dana Captainino - 'Funny Girl feels like an experiment - what starts out as an interesting idea, clearly well-researched and no doubt true to the period sadly fails to hit the mark.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Hamid - 'An entertaining read, with some moments of humour.' Read full review >

The Good Book Guide Review

Set in the ’60s, Funny Girl perfectly captures this era ripe with innocence and possibilities, as we follow the life of Barbara Parker. Barbara from Blackpool dreams of being a star, moves to London, changes her name to Sophie Straw, and quickly falls on her feet, not only landing herself a job in a TV sitcom, but also stealing the show. This novel pays homage to the golden period of light entertainment, when TV actors truly were stars. Witty, and wonderfully observant of the time, with an unexpectedly moving finale, this is a perfect platform for Hornby’s comedic writing skills – looking at the thrill of success and the inevitable fall-out when it fades.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241965221
Publication date: 07/05/2015
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780670922802
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241965221
Publication date: 7th May 2015
Author: Nick Hornby
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby was born in 1957, and is the author of Fever Pitch, High Fidelity, About a Boy and How to be Good. He also edited the collection of short stories Speaking With the Angel. He is the pop music critic for the New Yorker. In 1999, he was awarded the E.M.Forster award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in Highbury, North London.

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