Think you can do it alone? This book is proof that we all need backup
Having first seen the movie, I read Nick Hornby’s About a Boy over the holidays and am glad I did. Here’s what stood out:
- Writing a book with one interesting character is hard enough. Here, Hornby somehow managed to write a book with several endearing characters, all of which kept me interested until the final period.
- Although I enjoyed the movie’s ending, the original book ending and additional character development is much better. I’m convinced Hornby could double as a behavioral psychologist—he understands and articulates human nature so well.
- The prose. For example, “The conversation in the arcade at least had the virtue of creating a mutuality between them: they had both confessed to something they wanted, and those somethings were, when all was said and done, not entirely dissimilar, even though the someones connected with the somethings evidently were.” And, “Ellie spent her whole time wanting life to be shit, and then making life shit by making life difficult for herself.” (i.e. getting in trouble for refusing to wear her school uniform, shouting at people, fighting just to fight.)
- The universal truth that all of us need back up, whether young or old, girl or boy. “Two or three isn’t enough,” says Marcus. “You need loads more backup in case someone decides to top themselves.”
Four stars out of five.