'How cool was Will Freeman?' Too cool! At thirty-six, he's as hip as a teenager. He's single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He's 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.
I love the About a Boy movie. So much. It's one of my favourites, and I'm a big lover of british cinema. After watching this movie for the millionth time, I thought 'why have I not read the book version of this?'(like I've said for many films). After a not so quick trek to the bookshop, I found a copy and brought it home with me, knowing full well that there'll be differences between film and novel. I mean, what movie is actually very similar to the book? There are a few on my short list, and this one is now added onto it.
It was eerily similar. Well, I shouldn't say 'eerily' because it wasn't. It was wonderfully similar! Lines, word for word, were in there from the movie. I was repeating the line 'this is the actual movie, oh my god' so many times.
Obviously there were some changes and the book went on for a bit longer, I felt possibly a little too long. The last scenes were different but it still ended on the same note. In all honestly, I preferred the ending in the movie. *gasp* I know, I'm still shocked!
We're following the story of Will and Marcus, two completely different people with two completely different ways of thinking. Will is a thirty-something rich guy who lives off his late fathers earnings of writing a Christmas song. He can't hold down a girlfriend, and he does absolutely nothing in his time but eat, watch tv, drink beer and look for girls. Also complaining, but he is british after all, it's what we do best. Will has a voice that's sarcastic and sometimes ridiculous, but it's mostly just hilarious.
He meets Marcus, a wise 12 year old boy who has the mind of an adult. Marcus is at school, struggling to cope with bullying and the worry of his mother and her depression. He has a lot going on in his life, and yet his attitude is rather intriguing. The family have no money, only being the two of them, and although they do sometimes argue about who is right and wrong, they're all each other have. After they meet, Marcus attaches himself to him, not seeming to leave an irate Will alone. They grow a bond and look out for one another, with some hilarious conversations and situations along the way.
I really adored their relationship. It was a friendship that is so special and can't be tampered with. Marcus would call Will out on his bullshit - without the swearing - and Will would try and help Marcus with the issues in this life, although pretending he doesn't care. He really does though. He's lying.
Nick has a style of writing that is so easy to get through. The characters all have traits that we can relate to, and the way he captured our attentions, whether it's due to sadness, tragedy or humour, it worked. He took some serious subjects and he turned them into a different way of explaining things, especially when it comes from Marcus. When a child talks about specific things, it has an interesting way of being translated. His character is so blunt, honest and inquisitive, and I love that about him.
It was effortless to get through this story, I just wish it wasn't so long. It's not a long book in terms of the length of a novel, but it was just that tiny bit too lengthy for this kind of story. There were times it was dragging just a bit, but that's juts a personal opinion. It also might be because I already know what happens, considering how knowledgeable I am of the movie.
As a new reader of Nick Hornby, I think I'll likely try his books again! There was a real british charm about it, the references and the sarcasm and jokes, it all worked perfectly.
I really enjoyed this one! Now I'm off to watch the movie because now I can compare them to each other properly.
I cant be the only person who loves this movie, is it just me? If you do love it, I do highly recommend you try the book. It's just as special and funny as the film is, and Nick's engrossing way of storytelling works so well.
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BOOK REVIEW: ABOUT A BOY BY NICK HORNBY
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub