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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Funny Girl (Nick Hornby)

Five minutes after being crowned Miss Blackpool 1964, Barbara Parker has ditched the tiara and is off to London to make her fortune. A chance encounter, a shrewd change of name and one audition later sees Sophie Straw with her own BBC comedy series.
Sophie works with a team of producers, writers, and actors all vying to make this funny girl even funnier, and the nation loves her. This is the Swinging Sixties: freedom and creativity are booming in London.
But everything is changing and nothing lasts for ever. Sophie and her colleagues are in the limelight but how long can they stay on top?

Quote: "It was such a joyful world that Tony worried for a moment whether he and Bill had gone soft, but these characters had real problems, and they spoke in real sentences, so it wasn't that. It was the form itself, with its promise of next week, another episode, another series; it couldn't help but offer hope, to its characters and to everyone who identified with them."

😐 I did not love this story, but I did not hate it either. I have read funnier books by Nick Hornby, and this was not as funny as I expected it to be.
The main character Sophie (formerly Barbara) does not seem to be very interesting, or else I would have enjoyed this a little bit more.
Most of the other characters - while likeable - are very similar. Dennis, Tony, and Bill almost seemed like the same person at times and I found it difficult to keep track of who was who during conversations. They were a little flat. Clive was probably the most interesting one, Bill was interesting too, but his world was not explored, only touched on slightly.
I enjoyed it when fiction characters mingled with real ones from those days, but I would have liked to read more about what their situations were like in the 60s. A little more background would have been nice.
My favourite part was the last chapter, where they grow old and come to terms with how much things have changed. It makes you realise that you should not take anything for granted because you might lose it someday.

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