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About a Boy Paperback – Unabridged, May 1, 1999
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What interferes with Will's career arc, of course, is reality--in the shape of a 12-year-old boy who is in many ways his polar opposite. For Marcus, cool isn't even a possibility, let alone an issue. For starters, he's a victim at his new school. Things at home are pretty awful, too, since his musical therapist mother seems increasingly in need of therapy herself. All Marcus can do is cobble together information with a mixture of incomprehension, innocence, self-blame, and unfettered clear sight. As fans of Fever Pitch and High Fidelity already know, Hornby's insight into laddishness magically combines the serious and the hilarious. About a Boy continues his singular examination of masculine wish-fulfillment and fear. This time, though, the author lets women and children onto the playing field, forcing his feckless hero to leap over an entirely new--and entirely welcome--set of emotional hurdles. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Will Freeman, quite possibly the world's most useless man, is jobless and responsibility-free -- and he likes it that way. Living off the royalties of his father's one hit song, Will finds his days full of lounging around, going to movies, and sitting in front of the TV watching Countdown. And while all this free time is at his disposal, Will has plenty of time to discover that single moms seem to be the most grateful for a date with him. Thus, Will puts a fool-proof plan into motion -- make up an imaginary son and join one of those single-parent support groups in an effort to meet women.
However, About a Boy is not all about Will meeting single mothers. It's... about a boy, Marcus, the 12-year-old son of one of the single mothers who comes into Will's life and turns it upside down. Suddenly Will finds himself, unwillingly, as some sort of mentor or father figure for Marcus, which totally distracts Will from his true purpose of being free from problems and responsibilities.
I loved About a Boy. The writing is authetic Nick Hornby, full of humor and sarcasm, but also there is a lively perceptiveness at work here that goes to show you one spontaneous decision can sometimes add meaning to your life. Prepare to laugh out loud with this one!
ABOUT A BOY centers on the relationship between a young boy, Marcus, and an unattached, cool bachelor, Will, who has joined the boy's mother's support group SPAT (Single Parents-Alone Together) as a way to meet grateful but unclingy women. It is clear from the start that Hornby could have named this novel ABOUT TWO BOYS and the novel has much to say about what it means for boys and perennial bachelors to grow up. It has much to do with taking risks, opening oneself up to other people (even to those you want nothing from), honoring real losses, and taking life on life's terms. As the wise child Marcus observes, two is not enough. He believes in "human pyramids." "I feel better and safer than before," he tells his late-to-the-game real father, "I was really scared because I didn't think two was enough, and now there aren't two anymore. There are loads. And you're better off that way."
A word to those who saw the movie: The book is really worth reading, so don't dismiss it if you didn't like the movie.Read more ›
Will joins a single parents group in hopes of meeting a sector of women he didn't knew existed. Through a racked chain of events, he meets Marcus (and Marcus's mother). Marcus comes to enjoy Will's company, and when he discovers Will's little secret, he blackmails Will into helping him. Will can teach him how to be cool and tell him important stuff like who Kurt Cobain is. But when Marcus is confronted by his mother about the mysterious trips he takes after school, it looks like the jig is up--for both Marcus and Will.
Hornby wrote this book in the third person, and I believe that gave him a little more "room to breathe". He cane look at situations from more than one point of view and write with a more objective frame of mind. This makes "About A Boy" highly enjoyable and accessible to all audiences.
Enter Marcus. Marcus a 12 year old product of a broken home, changes Will's life forever. In the end, both boys find their own way of growing up.
If you're a woman and you have trouble understanding what men are thinking, this will show you the inner workings of a man's mind better than a thousand books on relationships. Be careful though, the truth might be a little scary for you. As for guys, you might realize some things about yourself that you have never thought about before.
For those who have seen the movie and are wondering if they should read the book or not, you should know that the ending of the book is completely different from the movie. You really should give it a read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When a self-absorbed playboy with Peter Pan syndrome is “adopted” (against his will) by a terminally unhip, clueless, 12 year-old boy, the result is a surprisingly charming and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Melissa McCauley
Pretty good. It did Hold my interest. A little shallow, I was expecting more for some reason. A nice light read.Published 6 months ago by Sky Skyblue
I love the film AND love the book. This is one of my favorite movies (in my top 10), but the book has a subplot that I felt the directors thought too complicated for a screenplay,... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Transterrra
Easily one of my all time favorites. Highly recommended for everyone! The storyline was constant as each character tries to find their niche in life, the writing style was... Read morePublished 7 months ago by E.Robyn
This is one of the nicest books I have read so far.Strongly recommended!
You will love a boy named Marcus :)
I finished this novel in a brisk pace, all credits to the author for providing an hilarious read. It takes immense talent to keep the readers on track of a simple plot with lots of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sam