Funny Girl (novel)

Funny Girl is a 2014 novel by the British writer Nick Hornby.[1]

Funny Girl
AuthorNick Hornby
Publication date
6 November 2014
Media typePrint
Pages342 (hardcover edition)
Preceded byJuliet, Naked 


The novel is about Barbara Parker, Miss Blackpool of 1964, who decides to abandon the idea of becoming a beauty queen. She heads for London, determined to make her mark as a television comedian, inspired by her idol Lucille Ball. After finding a job on a cosmetics counter in a London department store, she meets a theatrical agent, Brian Debenham, who finds her an audition for a television sitcom pilot based around the domestic life of a newlywed couple. Taking the name Sophie Straw, she becomes a star thanks to the leading role in the fiction Barbara (and Jim).


The Guardian praised the consistency of the lighthearted tone of the novel with the style of British comedy television in the 1960s, which Hornby defends resolutely.[1] Similarly, The New York Times comments positively the position of the author towards pop culture, defining Hornby "competent and humane".[2] The Independent criticized the change of focus in the novel, stating: "[...] it's a shame that Hornby abandons his funny girl halfway through for more of his hapless men."[3]

Both the Los Angeles Times and the Library Journal report a level of flatness in the writing.[4][5]


  1. Preston, Alex (3 November 2014). "Funny Girl review – Nick Hornby's tribute to the golden age of light entertainment". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  2. Williams, John (11 February 2015). "Nick Hornby's 'Funny Girl'". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  3. Jones, Alice (30 October 2014). "Funny Girl by Nick Hornby, book review: The rise and faltering of a sitcom star". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  4. Ulin, David L. (23 January 2015). "Nick Hornby's 'Funny Girl' traces the road to stardom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  5. Driscoll, Molly (2 February 2015). "Nick Hornby's 'Funny Girl' receives mainly positive reviews". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 15 August 2017.

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