Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: About A Boy (Nick Hornby)

Hornby Nick - About A Boy


Title: About A Boy
Author: Nick Hornby
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
First published: 1998
Edition: Hardback, published by Victor Gollancz i 1998

At thirty-six, Will is 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.

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 won’t let go. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up?


I am not sure what I expected from this book. I have read a couple of Nick Hornby books before and did not quite love them. This is my favourite one by him I have read so far.

There is something very basic about this story and that is exactly what makes it so good to me. It is just a story about people and relationships, especially friendships, and how making genuine connections with people changes and strengthens you. I liked how the connections were forged. They were not forced, but evolved naturally.

I really enjoyed seeing the changes in both Marcus and Will throughout the book. Whether the portrayal of Fiona’s depression is realistic I am not sure. I kind of feel it is a bit strange that none of her friends really mentions seeking professional help as an option. I feel like Fiona’s mental health problems should have been explored more. Now it simply felt as a plot device. Maybe it was.

That issue aside, I enjoyed this book. It was not too heavy (which admittedy  it may have been if the above had happened), and I had fun with the characters.

I have seen the movie before, but I think I prefer the book, though the casting was spot on! I never knew the part Kurt Cobain plays in the book.

5 out of 7 stars

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