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on 22 January 2008
What an adorable, fast flowing, interesting and perceptive book this is. More importantly,how does Nick Hornby make an apparently mundane subject so funny, interesting and endearing? I can see why people rave about this author.

The novel is a narration following the lives of two explicitly different characters and their unlikely convergence. We learn of Will Freeman, the thirty something epitome of self sufficiency and selfish indulgence. Then, of twelve year old Marcus, who is the human equivalent of a square peg in a round hole. The "square peg" being Marcus and the "round hole" being the world.

The way in which Hornby describes these different lives with such realism and comedy makes this book simply unputdownable. We experience the unlikely yet somehow believable relationship the two characters establish, and I personally just loved the humour and incredulity with which Will Freeman observes this unexpected development.

I enjoyed how the characters altered and changed. The adjustment and amendments in their ideas not to mention the downright flipside up backtofront viewpoint changes that were so very believable and charming, yet not done esoterically or over the pages of a 600 page tome. Hornby proves that if you stick with what is real to people, even to what is obvious you can create rich characters quickly. It makes me wonder if JD Salinger was one of his influences, it would make sense if you have read "Catcher in the Rye"

I did love this book, and in many ways I wish I hadn't watched the film first as it took away from the freshness of some of the more brilliant moments of comedy. I wasn't sure about Hornby after I read "A Long Way Down", but I stand corrected, and am well and truly sold. My biggest disappointment was when the book ended. Highly recommended.
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on 14 June 2017
Sweeeet...!!!
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on 2 August 2016
Bouht to assist kids with school work.
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on 27 December 2016
The reason why the author wrote this book might be interesting, but not essential, to have one deeper thought about the book. The book mainly goes about isolation in general and bullying in schools. For the part of the isolation, I think, the book succeeds to draw a deeper picture on this, and even "delivers" a happy ending. For the part of the bullying, well, yes and no. It is nice that this topic is dealt with, but the solution - like wearing mainstream clothes and listening to the "right music" well, I partly disagree with. I think the whole thing why bullying seems such a problem, seems by far more complex, and as well as why there is bullying and how to deal with it. When I was growing up, at our school, it was not such a major problem, and if it appeared, we tried to deal with it, and mostly successful, and I am happy about that, since I can understand how unhappy a child must be, to whom this is happening. So for my feeling, it is too often turned a blind eye on this topic, and it can be devastating for the children, it happens to. So therefore it is good, that the book deals with this topic in some concern. Anyway a book to think about, and it is well written.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 January 2016
This book was one chosen for our book group & one which I wouldn't have normally picked up for myself. I had seen the film which wasn't too bad so I was quite looking forward to reading the book. Unfortunately this was one of the occasions where the film was better than the book.

I didn't really find the book that funny despite the reviews that this was hilarious. Perhaps I just have an odd sense of humour. I found Will a very sad person as opposed to the comic character others saw. He was a man who hadn't grown up & evaded any form of responsibility even refusing to be Godfather to his best friend's child. I saw his attempts to meet women by joining a single parent group rather devious as opposed to humorous. After all he lied about having a child just so he could meet women.

I also felt this book rather made fun of people with alternative life styles which I didn't find amusing.

Perhaps I need to lighten up & get out more but I didn't find this book amusing at all & was rather disappointed.
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on 2 April 2017
I was waiting for this story to actually go somewhere, to actually take it to another place.

I didn't feel a lot of progression to be honest. I mean it was okay as a book (I have read much worse).

Although, having said that, the book did take me back to school where I felt misunderstood by peers and a little bullying ensued. I liked the small friendships made by the boy and some of the other characters.

Will is a bit of a layabout to be fair.

I might try the movie, but the book was just...meh, nothing exciting imho.
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12 year old Marcus seeks a boyfriend for his depressed mother. 36 year old Will Freeman would seem a good catch but needs careful reeling in, at present his life dedicated to self-indulgence.

Here is the tale of a weird lonely child and a shallow selfish bachelor. So easily could this have become mawkish, but it does not. Instead it delights and is often hilarious (as with the feeding of the ducks and the reason why Will cringes as each Christmas nears). The film did the novel proud, but the book's end is different and some may feel better - more in keeping with what has gone before and far funnier.

One warms towards Marcus and hopes his life works out - he one of Nick Hornby's most inspired creations.

Wry, tender, delightful. Recommended.
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on 2 September 2003
After watching the film of 'About A boy' I decided to give the book a read, after finding the film extremely funny. I was not disapointed. Nick Hornby paints a very realistic image of life as a twelve year old who is 'different'. Marcus's attitude towards life is very interesting, and at times extremely amusing, esspecially his lack of understanding of sarcasm.
Will's character, though not quite as interesting as Marcus, is still readible. His outlook on life is quote original, and you find yourself wondering if he will change before the end of the book (which of course he does).
However, I did find that Marcus's relationship with Ellie, his friend from school seemed slightly unbelievable, and I quite frankly lost interest in their exscursion.
Nick Hornby shows 2 'boys' who both have a completely different outlook on life, who come together in unusual circumstances, and hilarity in-follows.
It's quite a quick read, but good for a lazy afternoon.
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on 18 May 2016
This book has an enthralling story but takes ages to read and will make finding quotes the bane of your life!
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2001
First Nick Hornby I've read as I considered him a laddish writer - writing for men - apologizes Nick. Only drawback was knowing that Hugh Grant has film role of Will Freeman therefore I read with Hugh in mind, but as drawback go it was easy to live with! As in all good books you are drawn into these characters - much like Will himself. Had bits which I empathized with and bits which made me laugh out loud and subject my husband too. Cool book with depth (unlike Will).
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