As a teenager in the ’80s, the music—the very existence—of Prince had a profound effect on me. Purple Rain (the movie, as well as the album) totally blew my mind. Seeing him in concert in 1985 was a highlight of my life (as was visiting his home and studio Paisley Park in Minnesota this past summer). So when a preview copy of this slim volume by Nick Hornby came into the store, I snatched it up before anybody else could. Hornby—a super fan of both Prince and Charles Dickens—makes some convincing arguments about parallels between the two men, despite the fact they weren’t alive at the same time. Hornby delves into details of their early lives, relationships with women, ambitions, and how they approached the business end of their work. It’s a fun book that made me want to listen to Prince’s music on repeat—and possibly pick up a copy of Oliver Twist.
—Doree, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA