Book review: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby (2015)

After winning the title of Miss Blackpool in 1964, Barbara feels little but dissatisfaction. Resolving to emulate her heroine, Lucille Ball, she moves to Swinging London, soon landing a job at an upmarket department store known for employing pretty girls.

The shopgirl post provides an opening to a new world of glamour and affairs and brushes with celebrities in posh venues. Barbara is naive, but she learns fast and soon makes contact with an agent who urges her to change her name (to Sophie) and connects her with a pair of writers and a producer working for the BBC. The trio immediately see her star potential and flair for comedy and recognise a chance to revive their own flagging careers.

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