Boekverslag: About a Boy
The title of the book is ?About a boy?. The story is written by Nick Hornby. The book is also filmed by Chris Weitz. Beside you see Nick Hornby ?
2. The background of the story
a. Can you find out from the story where and when it takes?
The story takes place in London, the tale plays in the present.
b. Can you also give some information about the story?s characters? Do they belong to a certain social group, for example?
The main characters, Marcus and Will, are normal white people. Marcus is a kid who acts like adult, and his mother is like a hippie (hippie). Will is a 36-year old man, who acts like a child. Marcus is bullied at his school. Fiona, Marcus? mother, has tried to suicide.
c. Is the background important to the story?
Yes, the background is quite important to the story, because there are many different characters in the story. But the town London could also be another town. The fact that Fiona is depressive and Marcus gets bullied, is important for course of the story.
3. The genre of the story
-What sort of story do you feel it is?
I think it?s a novel, just a novel. There is humour in it, brilliant humour, but there are also sad things. Like the day Fiona tried to kill herself, and the day that Will had to tell the truth about the fact he hasn?t really a kid. I think the story is realistic, this could happen in everybody?s life. But it is all a bit excessive, like Marcus? life and that Will is so selfish. I read about Game-Boys, trains and modern television. That?s realistic.
4. The characters
a. Who are the most important characters in the story?
The main character is Will, a selfish, very rich ?kid?, who lives alone as an island in London.
Marcus is a 12-year-old, the son of a single mother. He is a responsible ?adult?, and listens to Mozart. Will and Marcus are just each others opposite.
Marcus? mother, Fiona, is depressive, and doesn?t have much attention for Marcus.
b. Is there a character in the story you would like to get to know if it were possible? Why?
I would like to get to know Marcus, because he looks so adult. I would do typical boy games with him and let him know what it is to be a child. I think it would be nice for me and also for him. I?d like to know how his life was, and what he thinks of school. I didn?t read much about his school results, and what he wanted to do in future.
c. Is there a character you would prefer not to meet?
No, I would like to meet them all, because they are all interesting people. There would be al lot to talk, because they are all different. Even Ali, the boy who?s bullying Marcus, seems to be a special person.
5. A summary of the story?s events
About a boy is a book that describes the lives of two "boys"; Marcus who is a little boy acting like an adult. And Will is an adult acting like a child. Marcus has troubles at home because he?s being bullied at school and he doesn?t want to tell his mum about it. She seems very sad and on her own.
Will is living in his own world without working because his father once wrote a famous Christmas song and Will still gets money of it. He thinks the easiest way to get to women is to be a single parent so he joins SPAT. An organisation where young single parents meet. He makes up that he has a boy.
At one of the SPAT meetings in the park Will meets Marcus and he thinks Marcus is the most responsible kid he has ever known. Will and Marcus are becoming friendly after Will saves Marcus because Marcus killed a duck with a piece of bread. Their friendship begins to start after Marcus' mother tried to kill herself with an overdose of sleeping pills. Marcus intrudes in Wills life even though Will doesn't want him to, but he'll get used to it. Marcus shows Will what it is like to be caring and responsible, and Will shows Marcus what it's like to be a "kid". For example go to the barber and give him a descent haircut. Let Marcus listen to Nirvana; tell him about trainers and all that stuff.
They are both starting to grow into their normal age behaviour. At the end of the book Will and Marcus both know that everything is going to be all right. Will has become a really adult, and Marcus has become a really kid.
6. The title
a. Do you feel that the title of the story was well chosen?
The title ?About a boy? can be explained in two ways: The book tells about a boy named Marcus who is a teenager that acts like an adult. And the book also tells about Will Freeman who is an official adult but still lives in a childish world. So they are both boys in their own way and the story tells about each of them. So I think the title is certain well chosen, because it describes the whole story.
b. Or would you have chosen another title? Which title and why?
Not on me of application.
7. Your personal opinion
a. Did you enjoy reading the story? What did you like about it? What did you find less enjoyable?
I really enjoyed reading the story. I read the story in class, and sometimes I laughed out loud. It was that funny, especially when Marcus killed the duck with a peace of bread. But also the sad moments, when Fiona almost died, were in their manner beautiful. There were not really moments I found less enjoyable. Some thoughts of Will and Marcus were a little bit boring, but most were very funny or serious.
b. Have you ever read another story that you can compare to this one?
Yes I think I have, I read the trilogy written by Kate Cann, about the boy Rich. These books are also with thoughts of a boy, who has sometimes the same problems as Will and Marcus. But these books are more modern, and they are about an older boy, about 17 years old. AND he has problems with girls and things like that, in ?About a boy? Marcus and Will have complete other problems.
c. Explain why you would recommend the story or advise someone against reading it?
Maybe I would advise someone against reading it because it was sometimes difficult to read. Long sentences and difficult words. But someone from my age could read it anyway, so I would especially recommend it to people. It is certainly not an insipid book, and there is a lot of humour in it. It?s also good to read the thoughts of two boys, because I always read story?s about girls. Now you know what boys think and what they do.
d. Did you learn anything from the story that you didn?t already know?
I did learn anything from the story, as I said already. I know more now about the thoughts of men, and also how some men live (like Will). And I learned something about the misery of a single mother and her son. It was also interesting that adults really can learn from kids.
8. Final assignments
g. Make a collage in which the most important characters and events from the book are shown.
See the next page
j. What can you see on the cover of the book and what does it have to do with the content of the book?
I have read the book with the same cover as the film. You can see it on the front of my book report.
At the left there are the two main characters of the story, Marcus and Will. Will is above Marcus, and Marcus is looking to Will. On this picture they look a lot like each other. Both have blue eyes, and both a serious face. Furthermore there is only the title on the front. The rest is white. This is a simple front, but it?s speaking (sprekend). You see the story is about two boys, they are close to each other, so they have to do with each other. And it?s obvious that it?s not only a funny story, but there?s also some seriousness in it.
k. What would you never have done if you were the main character in the book?
When Marcus decided to sing at the School concert, I thought: ?Aaah you?re not!?. He would be ?murdered? by the kids at school. He was already bullied, and this would be fatal for him. I think I?d follow Will?s advise and quit when I had a chance. Fortunately it expired well, with Will?s help.
Nick Hornby is een Engelse schrijver. Hij werkt en woont in Highbury, het noorden van Londen. Zijn werk gaat regelmatig over obsessief gedrag, over het algemeen van mannen en met name over twee van zijn eigen interesses, muziek en sport.
- About a Boy
- Nick Hornby
- Meer boeken van:Nick Hornby