About A Boy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Synopsis: Will Lightman is 36-years old, but lacks goals and ambitions, and is a self-proclaimed 'playboy. He finds that the perfect girl for him would be... who else, but a single mother? After dating one before, he has developed an idea that single moms fear commitment, and would not rush into marriage any time soon. With this 'knowledge,' he makes up an idea of being a single parent, and joins an organization called SPAT: Single Parents Alone Together.
There, he meets one of the sons of a group member; a boy named Marcus-- a 12-year-old new kid and an outsider at school. For some strange reason (or possibly a twist of fate), these two form an innocent bond as friends. Eventually, through each other, the other learns to grow up and the other to act his age.

Review: I have read other works of Nick Hornby, such as High Fidelity, etc. As expected from any Nick Hornby novel, the usual dose of good writing is there -- with a touch of wit, wisdom, and sarcasm. These three things combined might not work for others, but for Hornby, clearly, they do.
I have to admit though, I was just a little disappointed with the book. I have seen the movie adaptation long before, and though I am not the type to compare moviestobooks, for this one, I think I have to make an exception. This is one of those rare instances that the movie was portrayed a lot better. I'm sorry for the lack of explanation, but sometimes, you just feel the way you do, just because. That is exactly the case with this.
Don't get me wrong, as I thought there were many funny moments in the book. The story is generally entertaining, and the characters are likable. I thought the development -- plot and character -- were believable. Overall, About A Boy was a quick and 'good' read. If you're going to read this, expect to be entertained, but don't expect too much. It's one of those 'take it or leave it' kind of book. It's a good read, yes, but the truth is, it's nothing spectacular.


  1. Oh wow, I totally forgot that this was a book, too! Honestly the movie is one of my all-time favorites, and even as I type this I've got "Killing Me Softly" stuck in my head!

    Great review :)

  2. I loved the movie too! I thought Hugh Grant was so awesome in it, and did the role perfectly. And thanks! :)

  3. I haven't read About a Boy, but I saw the movie and really enjoyed it. I don't like to read books after I've seen the movie. I try to do it the other way around (so I'll be sure to be disappointed in the movie). But I've read several of Hornsby's other books. I espcially enjoyed How to be Good.

  4. You're right, I absolutely love Hornby's writing, but in this case I believe Hugh Grant encapsulated Will's character so perfectly, to the extent that the film outshines the book. Maybe this is just a better story for the screen, rather than the page.