Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: About A Boy

Title About A Boy
By Nick Hornby
Genre Adult Contemporary
Pages 320
Recommended by Book Club

First sentence "So, have you split up now?"

Synopsis
About A Boy follows the lives of Will and Marcus. Will is a laid back 30 something bachelor who's never had to work a day of his life. Marcus is a 12 year old boy starting at a new school. His mother is depressed and things aren't going so well. When the two meet they begin an unlikely friendship that will change them both for the better.

What it has going for it
Yes, this is the book the movie starring Hugh Grant is based on. I've been meaning to read it for along time because I love the movie. Finally my book club decided to read it and I couldn't be more thrilled. This is such a strange story. A single guy in his thirties who's never had any real friends becoming a friend to a 12 year old boy. As unlikely as this is it works so well and makes for a great story about the need for people and friends in our lives. The characters are all so vivid and individual. Our narrators, Will and Marcus, have such different voices and our easy to like. Yes, even Will, the womanizing, lazy, unemployed, loser. Easy, fast, fun read with a sweet message!

What's lacking
This isn't actually something that was THAT lacking but the movie and book are so similar...like almost word for word similar. It worked for me because I love the movie so it was just like watching it again. However, it does take longer to read than watch a movie...well, for most of us, anyway, and so some people might prefer to just watch the movie. However, before you decide to pass on the book, you should know the endings are completely different! The movie has been Hollywood-ized and is much more "neat". The ending of the book was a little less flashy and I can see that bugging some people. I actually preferred the book's ending, though.

Favorite moment
I've always loved the dead duck scene but I prefer the movie version for the look on the babies face. We don't get to see that in the book. In the book, itself, I loved the change that takes place in Will when he meets and dates Rachel.

Yea or Nay?
Yes, and don't write off the book because you've seen the movie. If you loved the movie you'll love the book....maybe even more.

26 comments:

  1. I love this movie! I didn't even know it was based on a book, but I shouldn't be surprised. I've been meaning to watch this movie again, but maybe I'll just read the book instead. Very nice review, Jenny. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea. It's similar enough that all you have to do is read the book. ;) Plus you'll get a different ending.

      Delete
  2. I've been meaning to read nick hornby for a while. I have Juliet, naked on my shelf, but maybe I'll try this one. I haven't seen the movie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to try some of his other books now. I liked this one and I love the movie.

      Delete
  3. This weekend... I'm watching this movie... again. :) I thought the book was great... I hope the book club enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to watch the movie again too!

      Delete
  4. I LOVE this movie. LOVE it. One of my favorites. I have been meaning to read the book so it is great to read your thoughts...to know you say read the book even if you saw the movie. I want to know the book ending so read it I must. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, read it for the ending because it's quite different and better, if you ask me.

      Delete
  5. I've seen this movie a thousand times. I don't care what anybody says about Hugh Grant. He does boyish English charm perfectly. I think I read this book after watching the movie back in high school. I do remember it being almost exactly the same except for the bit where Marcus sort of runs away. I remember really liking both. Nick Hornby writes some really understandably funny books. Which reminds me I have meant to pick up High Fidelity for a while now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Hugh Grant was the perfect actor for this role. I want to read some of Hornby's other books too.

      Delete
  6. I've never seen the movie as I've been holding back to read the book first but I haven't picked it up as of yet, perhaps the next one to read :D ta, for the review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually like to watch movies before I read the books but in this case I'd recommend you read the book first.

      Delete
  7. I'm starting it today! I'm excited to read it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read! Read like the wind! ;) It's a fast fun read. Enjoy!

      Delete
  8. I read this book before the movie, loved it, loved the movie, and reread the book later on. Such a fun read. I love Nick Hornby (except for that one book about divorce -- could not get through the thing, no matter how hard I tried).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I'm not sure what book that one is but I'll try to avoid it. ;)

      Delete
    2. How to be Good. Can't say for sure it's *about* divorce but I think there was a doctor getting divorced and . . . well, either way, I couldn't get through it. Too depressing, I thought.

      Delete
  9. I like Nick Hornby but I didn't enjoy this one (never saw the movie). You've got to read High Fidelity. That is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, his best novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did see the movie High Fidelity and that will probably be the next Hornby I pick up.

      Delete
    2. I second that. And, the interesting thing about High Fidelity is that it's so very British. The movie is Americanized, unlike About a Boy. I loved the Britishness of the book.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, the movie of High Fidelity was kinda weird and I even like John Cusak. I'll have to give the book a try.

      Delete
  10. Nice to hear about a book that Hollywood hasn't ruined or totally mutated. :) I have not seen the movie, but I do like Hugh Grant. I will have to see if I can talk my hubby into watching it with me.

    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Hollywood usually gets it soooo wrong. They didn't do bad at this one though. Just changed the end.

      Delete
  11. This is pretty much exactly how I felt about it. I wasn't too bugged by the fact that it tracked the movie so closely. In fact, it was kind of fun to see exactly what they adapted from. Also, I too preferred the book ending.

    It'll be fun to see what the others thought of this one. I wonder if anyone hasn't seen the movie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm dying to know what people remember the movie well enough to compare it to the book. I also want to know what people thought of it. Just a few more days!

      Delete