Funny Girl – Nick Hornby – Review

Five minutes after being crowned Miss Blackpool 1964, Barabra 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 – and there the trouble starts.

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 forever. Sophie and her colleagues are in the limelight but how long can they stay on top? And when is it time to change the channel? 

Funny Girl is a perfectly mixed novel of comedy, coming of age and romance. And in classic Nick Hornby style, it’s completely different to anything else he’s written, it’s simply brilliant.

Sophie Straw (original name Barbara Parker) needed to be out of Blackpool, she couldn’t do the beauty pageant thing any more, she wanted to do something with her life. So what else is a young lady to do? She leaves everything she knows and is comfortable with and moves hundreds of miles away to London.

Now in the heart of London, Sophie needs to get a job, all she wants to do is to be a comedienne but she doesn’t know how to get into that so, for now, she will have to deal with the local department store.

When she’s told by her roommate that the girls in jewellery have ‘man friends’ who spoil them and pay for their social lives, Sophie thinks this is the only way to get into her dream.

After meeting a married man who wants to shower her with gifts Sophie agrees to go out with him, this is where she meets an agent who can help her.

Sophie is sent to an audition for a pilot show on the BBC where she will be a wife with no speaking parts but after voicing her opinions on the show her whole life changes.

Now part of a show that is gripping the nation Sophie is growing as a person, along with her co-stars and writers Clive, Tony, Bill and Dennis it’s all going hunky dory.

I blooming loved this book, I really struggled with putting it down, it made my train journey something I would look forward to.

I would seriously recommend this book, as the story is so fulfilling but you should also check out Nick Hornby’s other novels!

Lucy xox

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