I never particularly wanted to go back to the 1960's, but did so, happily and willingly, through Nick Hornby's latest book Funny Girl. Don't be confused by the title -- it has nothing to do with Fanny Brice, but everything to do with Barbara, a young woman from Blackpool, who wants to be the next Lucille Ball. Through a series of somewhat improbable events, which start with a beauty pageant in Blackpool, and a name change to Sophie Straw (a last name that her agent chooses, because she's so pretty every man really wants to roll in the hay with her), Barbara gets a starring role in a BBC series. The cast of characters of the novel, most of whom are involved in the series production, writing, or acting, have Hornby's typical depth and interest. Though the book covers a span of 50 years, the characters, their insights, and actions, remain fresh. It also provided a nice glimpse into the BBC of the past, and a contrast to today's entertainment industry. Hornby also did a nice job of interweaving fiction with reality, making me wish I could see Sophie in action, in person.
I received a copy of this book via Penguin's First to Read program. Thank you very much.