Video appunto: Hornby, Nick – About a boy
"About a Boy" is the second novel (after "Hight Fidelity") written by British author Nick Hornby, which was published in 1998.
The protagonists are: Marcus and Will.
Marcus is a twelve-year-old son of separated and inept parents who has to adapt to the London metropolis after spending his childhood in Cambridge.
He finds it very difficult to get accepted by the peer group. The parental figures, in particular the paternal one, are completely destroyed, as they are totally unable to guide their child who is becoming an adolescent.
Will Freeman is thirty-six, who shuns all bonds and responsibilities, lives on income, does not work, tries to fill the void of his life by courting only beautiful women, from whom he asks for a short-term bond.
At a certain point the lives of the two protagonists meet and from there begins a path that, intertwined with other significant events, will lead to growth for both, to a change of perspective almost necessary, I would say, for the construction of a new balance.
Among the more interesting secondary characters are: Marcus' mother, who is a deeply depressed woman, who often tries to take her own life; Ellie, Marcus's best friend, who is a rebel, an uninhibited 15-year-old with a separated mom almost as inept as Marcus's.
In this novel there is no idealism and any hypocrisy, there are not too many descriptions, the writing is fluid and wonderfully smooth. The characters are real, credible, tangible, devoid of any filter, deeply immersed in the current London metropolitan reality. A reality where it is difficult to grow without, hard to admit, to homologate to others.