This is the story of Will, 36, a man who knows more about being a child than being an adult, and Marcus, 12, a boy who knows more about being an adult than being a child. This is the story of their unlikely relationship and how they each help the other to live a fuller, happier life. Definitely cute, definitely well-written, and definitely an easy read. I'd recommend this for anyone in the mood for a mental break.
This is a really good book. it is funny and smart and very well thought out. My husband and I were both able to read it and enjoy it.
Definately a 5 star read! Even better than the movie which I loved. I understood the characters more with the book and yet all my fav one liners from the movie were there for my enjoyment too. I actually laughted out loud alot (which I don't do very often).
This is so much better than the film they made of it. Nick Hornby is a great UK writer....and this is one of his best books.
Will Lightman is a Peter Pan for the 1990s. At 36, the terminally hip North Londoner is unmarried, hyper-concerned with his coolness quotient, and blithely living off his father's novelty-song royalties. Will sees himself as entirely lacking in hidden depths--and he's proud of it! The only trouble is, his friends are succumbing to responsibilities and children, and he's increasingly left out in the cold. How can someone brilliantly equipped for meaningless relationships ensure that he'll continue to meet beautiful Julie Christie-like women and ensure that they'll throw him over before things get too profound? A brief encounter with a single mother sets Will off on his new career, that of "serial nice guy." As far as he's concerned--and remember, concern isn't his strong suit--he's the perfect catch for the young mother on the go. After an interlude of sexual bliss, she'll realize that her child isn't ready for a man in their life and Will can ride off into the Highgate sunset, where more damsels apparently await. The only catch is that the best way to meet these women is at single-parent get-togethers. In one of Nick Hornby's many hilarious (and embarrassing) scenes, Will falls into some serious misrepresentation at SPAT ("Single Parents--Alone Together"), passing himself off as a bereft single dad: "There was, he thought, an emotional truth here somewhere, and he could see now that his role-playing had a previously unsuspected artistic element to it. He was acting, yes, but in the noblest, most profound sense of the word."
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.
So much better than the movie!
Love the writer's sense of humor. Good book.
Very good book! It's about a boy (ha!) who's mother tries to kill herself and goes through a lot, mentally. Her son is a bit confused and is sort of put on the back burner while his mother regroups. The boy meets Hugh Grant (in the movie, forget his charaters name in the book now) and befriends him, even though Hugh isn't thrilled about a teenager coming to his house all the time. They two bring out the good in each other. It's was a much better book than I had planned it to be.
Marcus is twelve. Will is thirty-six. Why can't they both act their age? In his second novel Nick Hornby explores the connections people make when the so-called ideal family model does not apply.
A man invents a child to attract desperate single mothers and finds himself caring for a twelve-year old instead.
Another great Hornby novel, but if you've watched the movie first, don't expect the squeaky-clean happy ending.
Good book- very entertaining and heart-rending at the same time.
A great novel about a man who behaves as and adolescent and what he is able to learn about being a man from a young boy and his mother.
if you like books about karma.....and how small the world really is...when it comes to people...then read this book
4 out of 5 stars. I liked this book a lot and it filled in a lot of the gaps from the movie and helped me understand the movie better.
Good book,I actually enjoyed the movie more. Hugh Grant really brought this character to life more than in the novel!
Better than the movie...a quick fun read.
This is one of those rare cases that the movie is better than the book. Still, Nick Hornby is an engaging author whose characters are so real they're sometimes a bit difficult to read because they're not lovable, but flawed and human.
I saw the movie and passed on reading the book. Maybe someone else would like to have it...
Great book, had me laughing, and I enjoyed it much more than the movie (although the "Killing me Softly" sequence in the gym is really fantastic, and not in the book). Highly recommend.