About a Boy

About a Boy

3.79 (110,600 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Nick Hornby's second bestselling novel is about sex, manliness and fatherhood. Will is thirty-six, comfortable and child-free. And he's discovered a brilliant new way of meeting women - through single-parent groups. Marcus is twelve and a little bitnerdish: he's got the kind of mother who made him listen to Joni Mitchell rather than Nirvana. Perhaps they can help each other out a little bit, and both can start to act their age.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 22mm | 220g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0140293450
  • 9780140293456
  • 225,179

Author information

Nick Hornby was born in 1957 and worked as a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. His books are FEVER PITCH (1992), HIGH FIDELITY (1995) and ABOUT A BOY (1998). In 1999 he won an E. M. Forster award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in north London.show more

Review Text

The originality and fun spilling over in Hornby's acclaimed debut, High Fidelity (1995), run deep and strong through this second novel, as a playboy pretends he's a single dad so he can date single moms, but finds his fantasies warped by the real needs of an unusual 12-year-old boy. Set for life in London with royalties from a sappy Christmas song his father wrote, Will Lightman does nothing all day except be cool - something he does extremely well. And he chases women, with intermittent success. When chance throws a beautiful mom his way, he makes the most of the opportunity, even though she dumps him because she thinks he's ready for commitment and she isn't. No matter: He joins a single parents' group, inventing a toddler named Ned, and is well on the way to another conquest when frizzy-haired loner Marcus and his depressive hippie mother Fiona intervene. They all meet on the day Fiona tries to kill herself, and while Will's really just a friendly bystander, Marcus, in desperation, seizes on him as the solution to their problems. He follows Will to see where he lives, and, after quickly seeing through the toddler ruse, takes to barging in on his "friend" nearly every day after school. While hardly in agreement with this turn of events, Will is still enough of a boy himself to recognize that the lad needs a hand, and finds himself caring enough to buy Marcus cool sneakers, which are promptly stolen by the gang at school who harass Marcus daily. But Will provides the key that gives Marcus a first girlfriend, and then is repaid in kind when he meets another beautiful mom, falls in love, and persuades Marcus to act as his son to keep her from getting away. Far more than just boys will be boys, this has the right mix of hilarity and irrepressible characters to attract a wide audience: an upbeat, unqualified success. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

110,600 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 21% (23,328)
4 44% (48,766)
3 29% (31,835)
2 5% (5,564)
1 1% (1,107)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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