Thursday, March 23, 2006

She couldn't wait to say..."Are You Nick Horn-by?"

Yesterday I got to have lunch with Nick Hornby. Yup, that Nick Hornby.

His appearance was disarming for some reason. I suppose that it is because the way that I most commonly see his image is the cartooon bust in The Believer (a t-shirt for which he was wearing - give 'em a raise Eggers!). He's not very tall; his face has a sort elastic softness that I found very interesting and appealing; of he's bald, of course - we can see that at least in the cartoon; and he carried himself with a sort of slouch that insinuated a shyness or reticence, that was present during the lunch but which disappeared when he stepped on stage later in the evening for a reading to about 1000 people.

He doesn't sound like John Cusack, which, though I thought I would be terribly sad about having to let go of Cusack's voice when reading Hornby, was actually a very cool thing.

The best thing about it all, besides one of the most excellent readings I've ever heard, is that I came away liking Hornby's work more. I mean, I already really liked it, but I'm so often put off by "famous" people (in my glee I've mentioned my lucky lunch to several people who had not heard of Hornby - go figure - so I guess maybe he's not universally famous, but anyways....) who seemed to want you to only come to them as a sycophant or who attempt to capitalize on their notoriety by acting inappropriately or narcissitically.

I liked him. He was cool.

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