Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Saturday, November 6, 2010

About a Boy- Nick Hornby

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Published:  1998
Length:  307 pages
ISBN:  1573227331
Genre:  Fiction, Humour

Start Date:  Sometime in 2009
Finished Date:  Sometime in 2009

Where Found:  Chapters-Indigo
Why Read:  I loved High Fidelity and the movie version of About a Boy.

Summary:  A rich, self-involved and non-working Will becomes an unlikely friend/mentor to 12-year-old Marcus, an outcast in need of a father figure with a single weepy mom who is part of a support group Will joins to meet women.


Will is admittedly shallow. In fact, he is the first to admit it. He just doesn’t see the point in work, family, or pleasure that money can’t buy. Thank goodness this is a Hornby novel with biting, downright scathing humour or Will’s wallows in self-involvement would be just pitiful.

Enter Marcus, a sweet but lonely young boy sick and tired of his mom’s daily sob fests over her divorce who wants a friend but instead finds a highly unlikely father figure in Will after he joins a single mother’s support group in an absurd attempt to earn a sympathetic companion by claiming a fictional son, Ned.

The funniest stories are often about mismatched individuals who gradually learn from each other, either for love or friendship. Hornby completely twists this formula around: Marcus can’t possibly learn anything decent from Will, except that he is capable of helping others learn, as well as recognizing and accepting the craziness of his life by discarding the normalcy he skeptically yearns for in his early adolescence.

Hornby is one of the funniest writers around. He chews up & spits out pop culture, focusing on music in High Fidelity and conventional relationships in About a Boy (though music is a central motif). The movie improves on the book with the perfectly cast Hugh Grant as Will and trims some unnecessary subplots that weigh the last half of the book. Overall, I would recommend it for a fun read and rent the movie while you’re at it.

Rank:  (B)- Very Good, Recommend


  1. I've yet to read one of his books! I could use a laugh here and there. Thanks for the reminder. =] ...Have you read his Juliet, Naked? That's what I have on my tbr list of his at the moment.

  2. I've read this book and also enjoyed it. Although I think the film was a bit better, which is rare.

  3. Jinky~ No, I haven't read JN, but heard good things. Hope you enjoy it as Hornby is wickedly funny :D

    Sam~ I agree, the movie improved on the book. That certainly is unexpected!

  4. Good morning.... I'm posting from my work computer hence the anonymity :) I'm thinking of using this book for my B2 level ESL students in 12th grade next year. I've got the active reader but it's below their level. Its been a long time since I've read it and can't remember if it's school appropriate, I'd love your advice. Thanks, April Pepper

  5. Hi April,
    I would run the idea by your administrator. The story would probably have some challenging parts for ESL students but if the novel was approved (content-wise) for them, I bet you would enjoy teaching with it. Good luck!