Thursday, December 31, 2009

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

Book Details
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
Paperback, 320 pages
2002, Riverhead Trade
ISBN: 1573229571

How cool is 36-year-old Will Lightman? Sub-zero, according to the questionnaire in his favorite men's magazine. Not only does he own more than five hip-hop albums (five points), he's also slept with a woman he didn't know very well within the last three months (another five points). Targeting single mothers, he joins a single parents' group under false pretenses and is soon drawn into the lives of depressed Fiona and her bright 12-year-old son, Marcus. Suddenly, his life is messy and complicated, and he's horrified when he realizes that he's now hanging with the type of people who gather around the piano to sincerely sing songs like "Both Sides Now" with their eyes closed.

About a Boy is yet another book I read after seeing the movie. I don't actually remember much of the movie and I'm afraid the book may be just as forgettable. About a Boy was about a strange and thankfully innocent relationship between a bizarre twelve-year-old boy and an unambitious man-child. I just couldn't connect with the characters or the story. There was lots of whiny drama that amounted to nothing. The characters change and grow throughout the story, but in average predictable ways that you see in most "growing up is hard" novels. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad book. The writing was good. The story flowed smoothly and quickly. About a Boy just lacked that certain something to make it stand out from other novels of its kind.


Nick Hornby's website


  1. Aw, I'm sorry it wasn't great for you. I loved this book and the movie. Nick Hornby is a favorite author of mine though.


  2. I didn't like it either (though the movie, in my opinion, was customarily worse).

  3. I enjoyed the movie adaptation of this book. Thanks for the honest review.

  4. What movie was it? Or was it the same name

  5. Shame the book was underpar - I haven't read it myself, but loved the movie - perhaps it was the great acting cast that added something special to the original story...