About a Boy


About a Boy

:"This article is about the novel. For the film, see About a Boy (film); for the film's soundtrack album by Badly Drawn Boy, see About a Boy (soundtrack)."

Infobox Book |
name = About a Boy
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption =
author = Nick Hornby
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series =
subject =
genre = Novel
publisher = Gollancz
release_date = 1998
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 286 pp
isbn = ISBN 0575061596
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"About a Boy" is a 1998 novel by British writer Nick Hornby. It was adapted into a film in 2002.

Plot summary

The novel is about Will, a 36-year-old bachelor, and Marcus, an eccentric, introverted, bullied 12-year-old with a suicidal mother. Will, who never had to work thanks to the royalties from his father's Christmas song hit, has a lot of spare time. Most of this he spends smoking, watching TV, listening to albums and looking for female companionship, preferably of the short-lived variety. After a pleasant relationship with a single mother, Will comes up with the idea of attending a single parents group as a new way to pick up women. He invents a two-year old son called Ned.

It is at one of these single parents meetings he comes to know Marcus and a friendship develops. Will helps Marcus to fit into the modern world. He takes him shopping, buys him shoes and introduces him to the music of Nirvana. As the story progresses , so does Marcus and Will's friendships. Marcus is adopted by Ellie, a very tough fifteen year old girl, who is constantly in trouble at school because she insists on wearing a Kurt Cobain jumper. He also spends some time with his dad who visits Marcus and his mother for Christmas, together with his new girlfriend and her mother. Meanwhile Will starts going out with a single mum called Rachel, who has a son called Ali who is about the same age as Marcus. In the end Marcus evolves and becomes a “normal” kid for his age. Will becomes more mature and he ends up wanting to marry Rachel. Therefore, both Will and Marcus have started to live according to their age.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

A film adaptation of the same name was filmed in 2002 by Chris and Paul Weitz. It starred Nicholas Hoult as Marcus, Hugh Grant as Will, Toni Collette as Fiona, and Rachel Weisz as Rachel. While the screenplay closely follows Hornby's novel, it omits scenes involving drug use and has a different ending. It removes any reference to the band Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. The soundtrack to the film, including several full songs and numerous incidental pieces, was composed entirely by British singer-songwriter Badly Drawn Boy.

The title is a pun on the song "About a Girl" by Nirvana, a band that is featured in the book.

External links

* [http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/06/28/reviews/980628.28espent.html Too Cool for Words:] "The New York Times" review by Hal Espen
* [http://www.abc.net.au/arts/books/stories/s424255.htm Interview with Nick Hornby on "About a Boy"] by ABC Arts Online


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