About a Boy

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1st edition UK hardcover.

About a Boy is a novel written by Nick Hornby and published on 1998-08-01. The story is set in London in 1993, and follows two people: a self-absorbed man named Will who, in an effort to find women eager to sleep with him, pretends to be a single father, and an oblivious 11-year-old boy named Marcus, son of a single new age mother. The book was also made into a movie in 2002 and a TV series in 2014.

I had heard about the movie before I even knew it was a book because a girl I knew was a huge fan of Hugh Grant. Later, after enjoying the movie High Fidelity so much I read the book, I became a fan of Nick Hornby's work and started reading his other books. It took me a long time to finally read About a Boy, but when I finally did, I loved it.

Status

I don't own the book, but have listened to it as an audio book.

Review

Good

  • The book is fantastic. The entire time I was reading it, I didn't want to put it down. It deals with serious issues like divorce, bullying, and suicide, but still manages to be really funny and exciting.
  • Despite his shallowness, Will is a very interesting character. I like how, even though he doesn't need to work, he still has passion. In the beginning, that passion is just about being cool and meeting women, but, later, as he meets new people outside of his comfort zone, his passion shifts to caring for other people.
  • Marcus's inability to grasp sarcasm (perhaps Aspberger's syndrome?) is quite funny.
  • Ellie meeting the owner of the shop window she shattered was a great scene.

Bad

  • The primary female character, Fiona, doesn't have a personality of her own. She's described as being deep and aware, but she's written more as a damsel in distress. She also seems to forgive Will's lies a bit too readily.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

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