About a Boy by Nick HornbyHow cool was Will Freeman?
Too cool! At thirty-six, hes as hip as a teenager. Hes single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. Hes also found a great way to score with women: attend single parents groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.
Which is how Will meets Marcus, the oldest twelve-year-old on the planet. Marcus is a bit strange: he listens to Joni Mitchell and Mozart, looks after his mum and has never owned a pair of trainers. But Marcus latches on to Will - and wont let go. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up?
About a Boy
Thank you! Set for life in London with royalties from a sappy Christmas song his father wrote, Will Lightman does nothing all day except be cool--something he does extremely well. And he chases women, with intermittent success. While hardly in agreement with this turn of events, Will is still enough of a boy himself to recognize that the lad needs a hand, and finds himself caring enough to buy Marcus cool sneakers, which are promptly stolen by the gang at school who harass Marcus daily. But Will provides the key that gives Marcus a first girlfriend, and then is repaid in kind when he meets another beautiful mom, falls in love, and persuades Marcus to act as his son to keep her from getting away.
About a Boy is a coming of age novel written by British writer Nick Hornby which has sold over a million copies. Set in London, About a Boy features two main protagonists: Will Freeman, a year-old bachelor, and Marcus Brewer, an incongruous schoolboy described as 'introverted' by his suicidal mother, Fiona, despite his tendencies to bond and interact with people. Will's father wrote a successful Christmas song, the royalties of which have afforded Will the ability to remain voluntarily redundant throughout his life — he spends his huge amounts of free time immersing himself in s culture, drinking, and pursuing sexual relations with women.
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By turns witty and thought-provoking, heartfelt and touching, About a Boy remains a humorous fiction novel par excellence , showing the author at the height of his literary powers and a great example of what makes his work so influential. There are two main characters in this novel: Will, a grown-up layabout living off on the royalties from a famous Christmas song his father wrote; and Marcus, a troubled young boy who has difficulties at school, possibly suffers from autism, and whose mother is suicidal. At its heart, About a Boy is a novel honing in on themes of isolation and growing up.
We read the book during our English classes. After we finished reading the stories, the students were asked to write a book review and they were given a simple structure for it. Will is a year old man who has never had to work because his dad wrote a famous Christmas song. He spends most of his spare time looking for a girlfriend. Marcus was a twelve-year old boy who had problems at school because his mother bought him clothes that were not modern. Will was interested in having a girlfriend, but not a wife. When Marcus went home, his mother was lying on the floor.
That's an interesting interpretation, though completely wrong. The point is that being involved with each others' lives is messy and painful, but necessary if one is to be a real human being. I approached "About A Boy" having first seen the movie--and I learned a great deal from the contrast. The movie, in fact, ends with a cliched "feel good about not being lonely anymore" message--but every review I have seen misses the fact that the book DOESN'T end that way. At the end, Will even thinks, for the first time, about committing suicide himself!
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