Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kate

About A Boy by Nick Hornby

Recommended Posts

Addition: Hardback, library book Genre: Fiction

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Synopsis:

 

Will is thirty-six, comfortable and child-free. And he's discovered a brilliant new way of meeting women - through single-parent groups. Marcus is twelve and a little bit nerdish: he's got the kind of mother who made him listen to Joni Mitchell rather than Nirvana. Perhaps they can help each other out a little bit, and both can start to act their age.

 

This book is great! It is funny, engaging, and really worth reading. This is the second book by Nick Hornby I have read, and I think if he is a new author to you, you should start with this book.

 

The story has two central characters: Will, a thirty-something who has never worked a day in his life. All he does is live off his trust-fund and look out for himself. The other character is Marcus. He is twelve and a touch peculiar. He sings in class, without realising he is doing it, and does not dress like his peers, or like what they like. The two meet when Will has a great idea to find new women to date. He decides the way forward is to pursue single mothers. That way, they won't be able to have a long relationship, and they will do the dumping, so he won't be seen as the bad guy. Will is dating Susan when she introduces him to Marcus. Susan is a good friend of Fiona, Marcus' Mum, who suffers from depression. Occasionally Susan will take Marcus for the day, and on this fateful day, when they get back Marcus discovers his Mum has attempted to commit suicide. Will is thrown into the deep end, and from that point on Marcus starts hanging around Will. The two eventually form a funny friendship and bond, which helps them both in their lives.

 

This book is extremely well written and very entertaining. Hornby develops both Will and Marcus well, and the story is split equally between them. Some chapters are told from Will's point of view, and others through Marcus'. From this we get a full picture of how the bond forms and the trials they both face. The dramatic irony in the book is great fun, and adds a wonderful and amusing level to the reading.

 

I think the storyline is incredible. I don't know how Hornby came up with this idea, but it very well executed and original. I loved the twists and turns and the crazy characters in the story. Having seen the film first I did find myself visualising the actors used, but the film is very well cast and picturing Hugh Grant as Will was perfect. I loved Will, I found him hilarious. He has no morals but seeing him change - albeit slowly - out of his selfish character was very entertaining. I think Marcus definitely sits on the autistic spectrum, but he was very well written.

 

This is a great read and I highly recommend it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read this book a few weeks ago - I had watched the movie some years ago (a couple of times - I LOVE Hugh Grant!! :smile2: ) . I loved both the film and the book, which are similar yet quite different in parts. I too feel it's incredibe how Hornby could come up with such a credible, everyday story which manages to be funny yet very touching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review Kate. I enjoyed the book but I preferred the film, it was a bit tidier and made more sense. This is the ONLY flim I like Hugh Grant in!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strangely enough I disliked the film for the same reason that Vodkafan likes it! I thought by changing the ending, they took away the central point of the book. Marcus fixates on the charactors of Will and the older girl at school (name escapes me) because he thinks their cool nd so different from his mother and other people in his sphere. The ending of the book does a much better job of showing that not to be the case IMHO. I'd love to put a lot more, but I hate spoilers!

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review Kate, and I'm really happy you enjoyed this Hornby novel so much! :smile2: The review made me want to re-read the book, just like Kimmy619 :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review Kate, its a great read :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strangely enough I disliked the film for the same reason that Vodkafan likes it! I thought by changing the ending, they took away the central point of the book. Marcus fixates on the charactors of Will and the older girl at school (name escapes me) because he thinks their cool nd so different from his mother and other people in his sphere. The ending of the book does a much better job of showing that not to be the case IMHO. I'd love to put a lot more, but I hate spoilers!

 

Ian

 

I agree with what you said. And it really bothered me that they changed the whole "Kirk O'Bain" (or what name she used..) storyline, Marcus and Ellie's relationship just never made sense for me in the film as it did in the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now you've made me realise I can't remeber the way the movie ends :lol:

 

Nice review Kate. This is (along with A Long Way Down) my favourite Hornby book. The others I've read are ok, but I didn't find them particularly 'special' , but these two (About A Boy especially) are really good (I liked the humour).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the only novel by Hornby I have read and I was pleasantly surprised (had kind of pre judged it)

 

Any other work by him that people would recommend?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×