He can see the point of pretty single mothers, though, and the book begins with his Amis-nasty scheme to capture the separated females of north London. Will invents a two-year-old child, Ned, and begins attending single-parent meetings in search of sex with beautiful women 'democratised' by the flaw of parenthood. Things start off excellently. Will even seems to have a knack with children; 'Joe, the three-year-old, took to him almost at once, mostly because during their first meeting Will held him upside-down by the ankles. That was all it took.
He wished relationships with proper human beings were that easy. Will buys a child car-seat, then sprinkles it with cheese and onion crisps. He has Marcus son of a single parent round to his cool flat to watch Countdown. He cries crocodile tears at the memory of separation.
The only spanner in the works is Marcus, who possesses a a desire to set Will up with his suicidally depressive mother Fiona, thus expanding his family from from the dangerously small number of two, and b enough devious intelligence to see through Will's scheme and announce it to the world. Why would he want to do that?
This is Hornby's subject with the obsessions stripped away or at least peeled back a bit ; will Will grow up in time to have a life? About a Boy is a logical extension of Hornby's territory, combining the humour and keen perception of his earlier books with a harsher set of facts, a north London landscape slightly reminiscent of Joseph Connolly or Martin Amis.
Fiona's depression comes across as bleaker than that of the author in Fever Pitch. Marcus's terror at the loss of family is vividly described: He simply wanted people. Watching Marcus's mother Fiona early on: Alongside Hornby's elegant prose, the character progression of Will Freeman is one of About a Boy's real strengths. The psychology of Hornby's characters is carefully, thoughtfully, and gently done. Kids, if you don't listen to your mother, you'll turn out just like Marcus He's a zombie now!
Maybe, just maybe , it's a really good idea to take a hard look at the values your parents raised you with, and decide if those are values that you want to live by.
You probably won't turn into a zombie if you deviate off of their path, and find our own way. You should definitely stay away from lunatic girls. Nobody needs that kind of self-inflicted drama in their lives.
As far as Will goes, he's such a non-person that I can't work up any righteous indignation for the antics he gets up to. He figures out that he can probably get a better quality woman than he's used to, if he can hook up with single moms. Because, you know, they're a bit more willing to compromise about certain things. Now, having been a single mom, I should be irate with his character. But, hell, he's probably right. I'm not saying single moms are desperate, but on the whole, your priorities change when it comes to dating. Or, at least, they did for me.
I was no longer looking for someone who was the life of the party, I was looking for Come to think of it, I wasn't actually looking at all. But my husband managed to reel me in anyway. And he did it by pretending he loved children and was wanting to get involved in organizing some sort of Halloween thing for the kids in his neighborhood. ManyManyMany years later I found out that was soooo not the case.
He had, in general, avoided children like the plague. I would love to be angry about that little white lie, but he's been a pretty darn good dad, so I can't really hold that shit against him. Will, however, did a bit more than pretend he enjoyed the company of children. He invented an imaginary kid of his own and then infiltrated a single parent's group in the hopes of getting a date with a vulnerable attractive mother.
Now, over the course of the book, everyone grows and changes a bit. Will matures enough to face up to his insecurities, Marcus grows enough to stop letting his mother's weird beatnik stink permeate his life, and Fiona grows enough to Well, Fiona is still a fucktard, but at least she isn't crying every five minutes by the end of the book.
Thing is, that's sort of how life goes. Not everyone is special, cool, or awesome, and we all have issues that make us unlovable and odd. View all 47 comments. Jul 13, Lee rated it it was amazing. I don't know why I love to do this. I guess just to see how it all turns out on the other end.
Anyway, this review is pretty straight forward: I also admire Hornby for writing consistently about men in a very honest and entertaining way. In this case, he also gets into the mind of the eccentric, troubled Marcus, who's twelve and being raised by a depressed hippy mom who sings earnest folk songs "with her eyes closed" this most spot-on description of Marcus' mother and uncool people generally comes up often in the book and always cracked me up beautifully.
Marcus is that tragically unhip kid who is completely deprived of television and pop culture. We all know him. He gets beaten up and teased, and his accounts of his life at school and at home the narration tag-teams between Marcus and Will, the immature, lazy hipster that Marcus adopts as his own are achingly painful. This book is readable and touching. View all 10 comments. Aug 23, Luffy rated it liked it.
About a Boy is a book that I've dreamed about - a meaningful book about human relationships as opposed to adventures that is to the point and not chock full of rambling and embellishing imagery. The reasons why I like this book and why I can't give it a bogus score are the same.
I'm very like Marcus.
Yeah, I read a quite a few cozy mysteries. So she leaves her hometown behind, takes herself off to London, and lands a life-changing audition for a new BBC comedy series. Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. She only wants to make people laugh. Looking for a new way to pick up women willing to go out with him, Will invents an ingenious scheme - he makes up a fictional ex-wife and son which are to be his ticket into a single-parent group, where he hopes to interact with eager single mothers.
The old me is like the old Marcus from before he changed at the end. The newer me is still like him. But enough of us. The titular reference to About a Boy is a book that I've dreamed about - a meaningful book about human relationships as opposed to adventures that is to the point and not chock full of rambling and embellishing imagery. The titular reference to Nirvana hit me after the umpteenth mention of the grunge band.
It was kind of daft, so many dropping references to Nirvana. But though I can see the point, it felt still gratuitous. The tricky thing that Nick Hornby has gotten into was that, it was difficult to pull off treating the death of a real person, more so when he's such a celebrity. I once based an essay on the death of former manager of Manchester United, Matt Busby.
A friend of mine told me it was not conducive to a good piece of homework. The clear and superbly understandable writing of the author was a conscious decision. It makes me want to read High Fidelity. One distinguishing characteristic of this book is its strong chapters. I feel a lot of thought got put into when to end chapters. The endings are definite, strong, and meaningful. That decision was very apparently resonant around chapters 15 to There are books that have chapter endings such as " she was relieved to find the window unbroken" or " she felt at home here in the doughnut shop".
Yeah, I read a quite a few cozy mysteries. But my point is, whenever cliffhangers are propped at the end of chapters in About A Boy, they catch the readers' attention. It was only at the end of chapter 32 that I noticed there were only two cliffhangers in total in the book. I don't know why the movie version's finale centered about a stupid music day at Marcus's school. I was relieved when the book turned out to be different. In any book, there is a character most responsible for the book to end. A book needs to have an end, of course.
Here the candidates for this accolade is that the right word? They all precipitated events and the breakthrough, which was the emerging of Will and Marcus as healthier members of the society. Marcus allowed Will to get closer to Rachel. In a way Rachel got Marcus together with Will.
It's not apparent, but it's there. So there we have it, my honest review and my honest rating. View all 3 comments. Like most, I have read this book after seeing the movie adaptation with Hugh Grant years and years ago. The movie turned out to be a rather faithful adaptation of the novel, but featured a completely different ending.
The general plot of About a Boy is well known. Will is a 36 year old single man, who lives off royalties from a famous Christmas song that his father wrote. Will doesn't have to worry about money and work, and spends his life largely without responsibilities and commitments. Looking Like most, I have read this book after seeing the movie adaptation with Hugh Grant years and years ago.
Looking for a new way to pick up women willing to go out with him, Will invents an ingenious scheme - he makes up a fictional ex-wife and son which are to be his ticket into a single-parent group, where he hopes to interact with eager single mothers. Despite having to constantly pretend to have a family the plan seems to be working, until Will meets Fiona and her 12 year old son, Marcus - who quickly discovers Will's act. Marcus agrees to not expose Will, if Will will teach him how to be cool like he is - what shoes to wear, what haircut to get, what music to listen to.
Like it or not, Will takes the troubled youth under his wing - and in the course of their relationship both will learn much not only about one another, but about life itself. This is a very entertaining and fun book to read, if not particularly memorable. Horbny writes with ease and the novel is full of dry humor and references to the time it was set in The growing relationship between Marcus and Will is a pleasure to see develop - how Marcus changes from an always serious, socially awkward and culturally oblivious young into a more typical teenager and slowly learns to enjoy life, and how Will slowly stops being the man-child he always was and learns about responsibilities of adults.
It is a predictable book, but not unpleasantly so - and although it was probably overshadowed by the film made out of it, it is still worth reading. It'd be a good summer read, without meaning the category as an insult; those interested might consider putting it on their lists for the upcoming holidays. Originally, I picked up a friend's copy of this while watching babysitting, simply as a means of amusing myself while the kid was happily playing with some toys.
I'd already seen the movie, and figured the book would probably be something that I could pick up and put down fairly easily. See, I went into this thinking I obviously knew the story and the characters - but what happened was I quickly forgot about the movie version, and became fascinated with the story of Will, the selfish Originally, I picked up a friend's copy of this while watching babysitting, simply as a means of amusing myself while the kid was happily playing with some toys.
See, I went into this thinking I obviously knew the story and the characters - but what happened was I quickly forgot about the movie version, and became fascinated with the story of Will, the selfish slacker who doesn't really have much of a point, and Marcus, the nerdy little boy who makes Will realize that yes, he does.
Once I started reading, I was hooked, and ended up purchasing my own copy, which I quickly devoured in about 4 days. Dec 17, Samilja rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Brilliant - ok, that's just a bad homage to the Brits but really, this was a funny, sweet book. I'd have given it a 3.
Review: About a Boy. About a Boy by Nick Hornby, Gollancz, £, pp The cover of Nick Hornby's new novel says it all: the red-and-white background ( a sub-subliminal advertisement to Arsenal fans) and the iconic. About a Boy has ratings and reviews. I had previously read one other Nick Hornby book: A Long Way Down, which was a morbid look at the.
I'm glad since I saw the movie version of H. It's a love story of sorts - but not between lovers. Rather, between a mid-thirties man-child Will Brilliant - ok, that's just a bad homage to the Brits but really, this was a funny, sweet book. Rather, between a mid-thirties man-child Will and a peculiarly wonderful twelve year old Marcus. It's a book-long question as to just who is the 'boy' in question but ultimately we find maybe both are and again, maybe they're both men as well. The dialogue is what's best here - you'll hear the English accents and rhythms in your head with every wacky conversation.
Great for a laugh. Oct 28, Daniel Clausen rated it it was amazing. What a surprising read! I found this book in the Fujisawa library in Japan. My other choices were D. Lawrence and other books that boasted intimidating thickness.
I suppose I chose this book because I thought it would be a breezy read. It was a breezy read!
A breezy, enjoyable read with a surprising amount of depth and charm. I had previously read one other Nick Hornby book: A Long Way Down, which was a morbid look at the lives of several people who try to commit suicide. About a Boy shares so What a surprising read!
About a Boy shares some of the morbid outlook of that book, but comes up feeling lighter and more entertaining. If I was entirely secure with the word "trash novel" I might call it that--as a compliment of course. Despite its entire lack of pretensions or perhaps because of it it turns out to be a minor masterpiece. It doesn't try to be overly deep, and it sort of rejects any sort of glib endings or hints at elaborate and deep structures to the world other than: It has the basic elements of great fiction: So, if you're holding a can of beer or a glass of wine, let's cheer this no-so-trashy trash novel: A very easy, breezy book that doesn't have the to me anyway expected ending.
I know, I'm late to the party on this one and it explains finding it at a book sale but I'm guessing the book was better than the movie. Very odd cover though. View all 4 comments. Jan 16, Serena.. Anni e anni e anni fa, ho visto il film About a boy apprezzandolo tantissimo e mi ci sono volute molte peregrinazioni in libreria per associarlo al libro di Nick Hornby: Certo poi il prezzo del libro e la Guanda che fino a poco fa non faceva le campagne di scont Anni e anni e anni fa, ho visto il film About a boy apprezzandolo tantissimo e mi ci sono volute molte peregrinazioni in libreria per associarlo al libro di Nick Hornby: Dec 04, Bark rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was a terrific book from beginning to end.
Equally funny and sad but never dreary despite the very serious overtones of the book. Marcus was a peculiar, wonderful boy with a huge burden on his shoulders and I really enjoyed watching him become a stronger, confident person. Will was also great. I loved the fact that he was a such a self-centered jerk and completely content to remain that way.
No guilt, no remorse, no commitments. Until he meets Marcus, that is. Their relationship was laugh o This was a terrific book from beginning to end. Their relationship was laugh out loud funny and so very believable. I had a very difficult time putting this book down. Jan 21, Helene Jeppesen rated it really liked it. This is an interesting book with a lot of different characters and character development. It was my first book by Nick Hornby but it's definitely not going to be my last: One similarity between the books though is that all of Hornby's characters seem to be really annoying.
Will cared about nobo 3. Will cared about nobody but himself and I thought that some of the things he said and did were absolutely repulsive but he was also very self-aware and I thought that was interesting to read. Marcus perfectly embodied a 12 year old who was very mature because of his circumstances but yet also very naive and innocent because he is only a child. The story itself focuses on relationships. Relationships we have with friends, family, strangers, lovers etc and the impact that those relationships have on us. Will ends up realising that maybe being intertwined with people isn't such a bad thing while Marcus learns that relationships come and go.
If you don't have a solid relationship with your mother, it doesn't really matter as long as you have other healthy relationships with people who support you. Perhaps it's not a typical happy ending but the sentiments are realistic ones. The only thing that annoyed me about the ending was that in the last chapter, Will describes Marcus as having changed dramatically. I know that some time passed but he transforms from being the odd, quirky kid that made him Marcus to being a typical teenager. I'd have preferred if that chapter wasn't there or we got more from Marcus that explained why he changed so much.
Throughout the book it was like Marcus had an inability to understand certain things like pop culture, appropriate things to say and what to wear but then at the end he knows what to say, he knows what to wear and he seems to know more about pop culture. The writing was good enough.
The best thing about the writing was definitely the characters Hornby wrote. They were so elaborate and even though the story is quite ordinary, I think everything about the characters were top notch. They were just so three-dimensional and I'm just really impressed with how good they were. I would have liked to have seen a good likeable character but just because I'm curious to see how Hornby would write that character. Jun 18, Stacey prettybooks rated it really liked it Shelves: I thought this worked perfectly they are both stand-out, likeable characters.
Why is everything made out to be so sordid? The novel could be very gloomy: I played out the whole novel in my head as a film and cannot wait to see how the real version differs. I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books. What an absolutely delightful book. I watched the movie many years ago and I have to say that Hugh Grant is the perfect Will. Hornby does magnificent character writing, but with quite a lot of humour - there were so many laugh out loud moments! Fabulous audio narration too - highly recommended. Lajt, prozracna pricica o disfunkcionalnim ljudima.