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Un ragazzo

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  89,924 ratings  ·  2,084 reviews
Will Freeman è un londinese trentaseienne, ma con molte caratteristiche e interessi da ragazzo, che vive di una rendita lasciatagli dal padre. Frequenta riunioni di genitori single, allo scopo di conoscere giovani mamme sole e piacenti. Ma gli capita di incontrare un ragazzino, Marcus, i cui genitori si sono da poco separati. Coinvolto nelle situazioni e nei problemi di un...more
Paperback, Narratori della Fenice, 266 pages
Published 2006 by Guanda (first published 1998)
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Lee
I have weird habit of reading books that were made into movies AFTER I've seen the movies. Dopey, right? I don't know why I love to do this. I guess just to see how it all turns out on the other end.

Anyway, this review is pretty straight forward: "About a Boy" is awesome. Like the rest of Hornby's work that I've read, it's hilarious in such a BRITISH way (so dry, the laughs usually coming from some poor uptight Brit's bumbling embarrassment). I also admire Hornby for writing consistently about m...more
Lyssrose Farver
Originally, I picked up a friend's copy of this while watching babysitting, simply as a means of amusing myself while the kid was happily playing with some toys. I'd already seen the movie, and figured the book would probably be something that I could pick up and put down fairly easily.

I was wrong.

See, I went into this thinking I obviously knew the story and the characters - but what happened was I quickly forgot about the movie version, and became fascinated with the story of Will, the selfish...more
Samilja
Dec 17, 2007 Samilja rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of dry british laughs & anyone looking for an entertaining, easy read
Brilliant - ok, that's just a bad homage to the Brits but really, this was a funny, sweet book. I'd have given it a 3.5 but with no half-stars at my disposal, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Anyway - bought it b/c I was looking for High Fidelity at our local used shop but this was the only Hornby on hand. I'm glad since I saw the movie version of H.F. but not this so it was a good surprise. It's a love story of sorts - but not between lovers. Rather, between a mid-thirties man-child (Will...more
Daniel Clausen
What a surprising read!

I found this book in the Fujisawa library in Japan. My other choices were D.H. Lawrence and other books that boasted intimidating thickness. I suppose I chose this book because I thought it would be a breezy read. It was a breezy read! A breezy, enjoyable read with a surprising amount of depth and charm.

I had previously read one other Nick Hornby book: A Long Way Down, which was a morbid look at the lives of several people who try to commit suicide. About a Boy shares so...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
I hadn’t watched the About the Boy movie before reading the book and so I knew nothing about the plot nor the characters. I was therefore very surprised to find that it’s narrated by Marcus as well as Will. I thought this worked perfectly they are both stand-out, likeable characters. I loved Marco’s naivety and his ability to see things in a straightforward, literal way, and I loved Will’s hilarious cynicism. If you’re familiar with Danny Wallace, that’s who he reminded me of.

I was rooting for W...more
Callum
Simply said, I didn't like this novel because it preaches the idea of normality as being one's only means of living happily. The two protagonists are an unemployed, quietly melancholic man in his 30s and a young, socially awkward boy restrained by an overbearing, suicidal mother. The basic premise is promising, especially considering Hornby's strong voice in this contemporary setting.

It's when he then starts to illustrate this simplistic, overly-contrived character of Will when this idea starts...more
Cristina
Sono sempre molto incerta con questo autore, da un lato non riesce a catturarmi a sufficienza, dall'altro ne apprezzo molto lo stile disinvolto, un po' informale, e non aggiungo semplice perché ne sarebbe ingiustamente sminuito.
Trovo che anche in questo romanzo, come del resto negli altri, ci si possa ritrovare la vita di tutti i giorni, con gli accadimenti "banali" del quotidiano, con le piccole cose, con gli ingredienti che riempiono le giornate di tutti, e questo lo rende in qualche modo molt...more
Ginny_1807
La straordinaria abilità di Hornby come scrittore consiste principalmente nel saper raccontare la realtà senza abbellimenti o idealizzazioni, vale a dire in tutte le sue manifestazioni, edificanti o meno, comuni o insolite, con fine ironia e misurata leggerezza. Questo non significa che non assegni la giusta rilevanza alle questioni più serie o spinose, ma al contrario che ne tratta in maniera gradevole e tutt’altro che pedante e banale.
Ciò gli consente di affrontare problematiche attuali senza...more
Dale
Nick Hornby is a master of writing a heartwarming book that isn't heartwarming (I mean that as praise, in case that wasn't clear). His brilliant method is to make the main character as self-centered and unadmirable as possible, then make him do something incredibly good, but rationalize his or her actions to him or herself in self-interested reasons.

In this book, an unemployed, consumerist slacker named Will (he doesn't need to work as his father wrote a pathetically embarassing Christmas song,...more
Eric Althoff
Will Freeman has some growing up to do. At 35, he lazes around all day listening to his CDs, watches "tele," dates serially and by nature keeps himself from any emotional entanglements, living off the royalties of a single Christmas tune his father wrote. After dating a single mother, Will discovers that a way to meet more single moms is to attend a single parent support group, conjuring up an imaginary son in the process to back up his story. Soon enough, his cover is blown, largely through the...more
Nastya
I can't help it, I just adore his STYLE. The way he writes. The way his characters develop. His humour. The ending is somewhat vague, but that is so not the point, the actual point is in the process itself, in Horny's style, his characters whom he has the power to describe so believably that I can see right through them, can understand everything they're feeling; in funny moments which the book is full of. I just laughed out loud several times during one chapter. I fell in love with the way Horn...more
Arwen56
Questo libro l’ho letto nel 2001. Ciò che immediatamente colpisce, secondo me, è il tipo di scrittura: semplice, immediata, colloquiale. Una riproduzione piuttosto fedele del “parlato” di tutti i giorni. Caratteristica che si accentuerà nei romanzi successivi.

Hornby non ha risposte da darci, ma domande da farci molte. E lo fa presentandoci, in questo libro, due ragazzi. A dispetto del titolo, infatti, non è chiaro se il “ragazzo” sia effettivamente quello più giovane ed immaturo, ossia il dodic...more
Vi Bui
It's 1993 and 36 year old Will Freeman is still living off his father's Christmas hit single, Will needs some growing up to do. He is living life care free and with lots of free time with no job. In his free time he listens to music, smokes, watches TV, and dates women. In some other part of London, 12 year old Marcus, living with his suicidal mother. Marcus has trouble with his life at home and his life at school because he gets bullied. Out of all of this Marcus and Will become entangled in ea...more
Jessica
I'm going to say something that I don't say very often: The film is better than the book (I think I can say that about a total of three books). But don't let that put you off from reading the book. Actually, the film is quite faithful to the book, almost word-for-word. It's just the musical tastes that change (the book is set in 1993, and part of the plot pivots around Kurt Cobain, and the film has less of a musical influence, but refers mainly to rap) and the ending, which, in the film, is a bi...more
Annalisa
I almost find it sacrilege to claim a movie is better than the book. But I'm taking that stance here. No that the book wasn't good. I enjoyed it. I just think the adaptions they made to update the book (it's set in the era of grunge music) were improvements and the cast well played (especially Marcus). Since I didn't read the book before I saw the movie, I kept picturing his interpretation to the character, even when I would not have interpreted it that way I found his version better. About the...more
M
Well, this was a slight disappointment after High Fidelity, which I loved. This had a similar style and humor which was so refreshing after a long week, but it fell short of High Fidelity's originality and wit - I guess each book needs to be judged on its merit, but even so this one was sometimes too silly or too cheesy, as if he just didn't have another 'slimy yet endearing' guy left in him.
It was enjoyable enough, and Hornby's humor is so great in that sardonic British way that even a book tha...more
Psmith
I absolutely loved reading this. It made me laugh out loud many a time, and often caused embarassing circumstances. Cynical, sardonic, satirical, with loads of eccentric and semi-eccentric characters - all lovable. I just loved the interactions between teh 36 year old jobless, "living off father's royalty" Will and 12 year old, but quite an old guy at heart Marcus. I adored his mother, her friends, his older girl friend (?), in fact everyone. I would like to savour it again sometime in future. I...more
Alex Hoffman
I couldn't put this book down right from the word go! Nick Hornby deals with serious philosophical subjects - depression, love, growing up and Ben the meaning of life - but not for one moment is his writing heavy or draining. He takes a cleverly funny approach to all these subjects through an eccentric twelve-year-old boy and a narcissistic thirty-six-year-old man - the most unlikely pair of friends - and shows the great bonds that form between people in the most unlikely ways when people care f...more
Belle
Will is an awful, self-centred, lazy, unemployed, rich, bored, philandering 36-year-old man child. Marcus is a sweet, weird, bullied, lonely 12-year-old boy with a suicidal mum and an absent dad. The two don't have anything in common but when Marcus latches on to Will, both their lives change forever. I wasn't sure that I would like About a Boy, because the only other Nick Hornby I've read was High Fidelity which I sadly hated. I had the impression Hornby generally writes the same type of unlike...more
Erin
I never actually got around to reading Nick Hornby's About A Boy, probably because it was written in 1993 and I was only 15. But the movie with Nick Hoult, Toni Collette and Hugh Grant is one of my favorite comedies (and I own it but haven't seen it in ages), and now that the new TV show is on (which I don't think I'll watch), I thought it might be good to revisit this. The awesome news is I forgot just how great a writer Hornby is, and how lovely it was to have adapted the movie so closely to t...more
Ellyn Oaksmith
This is my favorite kind of summer read: entertaining, light and funny. Full of little insights that might not add up to a whole lot other than a good book but that's quite a bit to my mind. I was so enjoying this book that I checked my Kindle to see how much was left. I felt like I was eating a particularly good dessert that I didn't want to be done with.

The main character is a typical Hornby Peter Pan lad. He meets a boy who somehow, although he is isolated and out of touch, manages to bring...more
Alexa
London, Nirvana, and the Awkward Teen Years
Upon opening this book, the reader greets a geeky, adolescent British boy living with only his mother in his new home in London. He struggles with the problems many children his age face: divorced parents, bullying, making new friends, and most importantly, just trying to be himself without the backtalk. In the course of the novel, he meets two unlikely people that will change his life forever.
I fell in love the moment I cracked open the book and star...more
Nathan
I'm no Superman, but I have kryptonite. My kryptonite is definitely a good book: this old man can stay up WAY past when he should have gone to sleep, simply to further delight in a good book. "About a Boy" was just such a book; I read until after 2am and was useless the next day.

What made it so appealing? Hornby's style is perfectly deadpan as his characters note the absurdity of the world without being a part of it: the young boy, bullied at school and whose single mum is losing it; the mid-30s...more
Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Jenkins
Will Freeman is unemployed, childless and single. His chances of meeting gorgeous woman that fall in love with him are very slim, but he still thinks that there is hope for a person like him. Charismatic and witty are some of his traits that woman adore about him but he is hopeless at a long term relationship. In his own imagination, he has a kid name Ned that he invited. After rejecting his friends offer to adopt one of their babies, he continues to life a ordinary life without any excitement....more
Matt
"Insightful, funny, moving, painfully honest." A stamp with that written on it could be thumped inside the cover of all of Nick Hornby's books. I think he did his best work early, as it's his early books (like this one)that best employ what is easy to spot as his voice, and even his formula: he takes sad existential scenes that everyone can relate to, plugs in fabulous characters, and by the end of the book he convinces them that it's going to be okay-buy not in the way they expected. About a Bo...more
Rachel
Books into movies...I always try to read the book first. If I don't succeed, I rarely will read the book later. But there are exceptions and books by Nick Hornby fall into that category (next on my list by him is High Fidelity). I won't say much about the plot because you've most likely seen the movie. But I'll say that the book is much darker, much more sarcastic, and just 'fuller' than the movie. I very much like NG's style of writing. He takes very serious issues, and though gives them the gr...more
brenna
Teaching this one this week; as with all my picks of late it's becoming a bit Brenna-explains-the-90s but that's ok. I do love Will and Marcus so much.

I'm surprised by the reviewers here on GoodReads arguing that the book is disappointing because Marcus is encouraged to conform. Dudes, he's 12. Follow your bliss is crap, unfair advice that adults who have forgotten how much school sucks give to kids who are having a terrible horrible time of it. Sometimes the only rescue is invisibility. And re...more
Morgue Anne
Have to admit, I only picked up this book because I'm shallow and it had a picture of Hugh Grant on the cover. Sad, right? But, it was only a dollar and Hugh is a sexy beast, so I figured why not. Fortunately, I was more than pleasantly surprised at how good it was. This book deals with some very heavy subjects (Suicide, Depression, Finding your place in the world) in a light-hearted way, through the eyes of a child and child-like adult, but I think it's necessary for the story to be told in suc...more
Alicia Fenney
I really enjoyed this novel, especially having seen the movie which I liked (and despite not particularly liking Hugh Grant). From the very beginning it was a page turner. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that each chapter is written by Marcus or Will and the reader gets insights into both eponymous "boy"s' lives and minds. I loved the characters - they weren't stereotypes yet they seemed recognizable and I felt I could identify with them in small ways.

I love how the novel ends (very...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
About a Boy: Thoughts on Marcus 4 11 Apr 26, 2014 04:02PM  
About a Boy: Review and Question: 3 6 Apr 22, 2014 05:32PM  
About A Boy 1 19 Apr 11, 2014 05:50AM  
About a Boy: Golden Line + Question 2 6 Apr 11, 2014 05:35AM  
A Little Book Club: Discussion: About a Boy 1 2 Mar 31, 2014 06:37AM  
Did you think this had a weak ending? 7 91 Sep 19, 2013 09:25AM  
Pritzker Summer R...: Young adult fiction 1 5 Aug 20, 2013 07:47PM  
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Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is a recipient of the American Acade...more
More about Nick Hornby...
High Fidelity A Long Way Down How to Be Good Juliet, Naked Fever Pitch

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“There had been times when he knew, somewhere in him, that he would get used to it, whatever it was, because he had learnt that some hard things became softer after a very little while.” 110 likes
“This thing about looking for someone less different... It only really worked, he realized, if you were convinced that being you wasn't so bad in the first place.” 63 likes
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