10 August 2016

Nick Hornby: About a Boy

I read this book because I tend to like movies that Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay (Wild, Brooklyn, High Fidelity, An Education, etc.). I hadn't read any of his novels before and found this at a sidewalk sale in Toronto. Hornby is a very talented writer but I don't always love fiction novels, and if I do I tend to really only like certain authors who stick to one style. It turns out, I really liked the book. It was entertaining and if I find myself telling Meghan about it that generally means I enjoyed it.

I knew what I was getting into because I've seen the movie (High Grant + Nicholas Hoult- definitely watch it). The book is written from the perspective of a sociopath named Will who leads a very charmed life and is constantly trying to scheme up ways to manipulate women. He creates a single dad persona and joins single parents clubs so he can meet single mothers. Will feels single moms are the best women to date because they don't get too attached and are usually preoccupied with their kids. Eventually he meets a woman with a son named Marcus who ends up bonding with despite having no interest in his mother. Their relationship turns out to be very heartwarming and Will's character eventually grows on you

There are some great excerpts in here to cater to the sociopath in all of us. Will, who lives off the royalties of a Christmas song his grandfather wrote, is constantly complaining about how he could never work because how do people have the time??? It's very funny and extremely entertaining to read the thoughts of someone who makes observations about people and society that we aren't actually allowed to say out loud.

There is some strong subject matter, like suicide, as well as just the general portrayal of women as pathetic, so I wouldn't exactly call it a 'light' read. I started it on my girlfriend's bachelorette weekend and it did take me a while to get into it completely but I am glad I read it and I would read more novels by Nick Hornby in the future.

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