Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius

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I’m not sure how many people sit around noting the similarities between Victorian writers and pop icons, but thankfully Nick Hornby is one of those who does. His latest, Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius, offers a side-by-side chronology of each man that illustrates what made them more influential than nearly every other contemporary in their form, and for fans of both artists, this book is a gem and a delight.

The book is structured as a dual timeline beginning with “Childhood” and culminating in a final section titled “The End,” but it isn’t a perfect year-by-year comparison. Within the text, there are two sections that bisect the timeline–“The Movies” and “Women”–that look deeply at adaptations of Dickens’ work and at the films Prince created and starred in: Purple Rain, Under the Cherry Moon, and Graffiti Bridge. In each case, Hornby delivers small yet weighty nuggets about the works that even the most diehard fans will likely not know. He deftly and directly notes the impact Purple Rain and Oliver Twist, specifically, have had on the cultural lexicon, not just as films but as pop touchstones.

Dickens and Prince is clever, well-researched, and is perfect for pop culture fans of other works like Chuck Klosterman’s “the 90s”.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Penguin Publishing Group
Publish Date 15-Nov-2022
ISBN 9780593541821
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2023
Category Biographies & Memoirs