THE ABDUCTOR: The abductor of this novel was found in the character of Marcus. The story is told from two perspectives, Will (36) and Marcus (12). There really wasn't much to Will's character in the beginning, he was kind of just...there. Of course, his character develops a great deal and by the end I rooted for him. But Marcus was the real heart of the story for me. From the very beginning he was quirky and direct. He had so many funny moments that came out of just being a kid trying to understand the world.
TIME IN CAPTIVITY: Marcus meets Will on a day where after being out he comes home to find his mother has attempted to commit suicide. He decides then that him and his mom need more people in their lives and so he reaches out to Will. Which is really a remarkable thing! How many of us are walking around feeling lonely in our lives but are so afraid of rejection that we would never go to the links that Marcus goes to?
Will becomes more of a big brother to Marcus and their relationship ends up changing the way both of them end up looking at the world. Will starts to realize that he needs more of a purpose and Marcus starts to realize that he needs to stand on his own two feet and think for himself.
The book contains plot points that follow along with many coming of age stories. However it also navigates around questions on depression and family. I loved reading Hornby’s take on depression and how it can play out in different people. And I loved everything he had to say about the people who are biologically our family and the people that we choose to make our family.
PICK UP LINE: "Will had at least managed to introduce some friction into the conversation. Until he played the Marcus card, he'd kept slipping off before he'd even started. Now he felt as though he were climbing a mountain, rather than a glacier. He imagined himself right at the bottom of the cliff face, looking up and around for footholds."
This comes from the part in the book when Will and Rachel first meet. And I think it was my favorite quote because I just love that moment in building a relationship when it isn't about the lust or attraction, but just about the awkward beginning of trying to have a conversation. That moment when you just want to talk to the person to hear their voice, but you are never quite sure of what to say or how to get it started.
POINT OF ABDUCTION: I kind of have two points of abduction. I think I really fell in love with Marcus’s character during the scene where he forced Will to take out him and his mother, Fiona, in an effort for them to become a couple. The way that he kept trying to force the conversation between the two of them was hilarious!
However, having already seen the movie (about 50 times) I was counting down until the scene when Will would meet Rachel, his potential love interest. I knew from the movie that they would meet on New Year’s Eve so as the book made its way through Thanksgiving and Christmas I just kept thinking “We’re almost there!!!”
5 huge stars!!! Hornby has yet to disappoint me! It was a great novel with tender moments and difficult questions and amazing development for all the characters!
*** BOOK VS. MOVIE ***
Here is something that I have learned about movies: screenwriters, producers and directors actually try enormously hard to make their movies appear timeless. So sometimes when plot points are removed from certain novel adaptations it is merely to serve this purpose.
In the book, the death of Kurt Cobain is the catalyst that leads to the climax for the characters. Therefore the book is specifically dated to the timespan of 1993 to 1994.
The removal of this catalyst is what allowed the creators of the movie adaptation to have a movie that could have taken place anytime between the late 90’s to today. And I know this because literally as soon as I finished the book, I made dinner and put the movie on.
The movie version of About a Boy stays shockingly close to the plot and development of the novel until that point. But the ending works out in a way that although the catalysts may be different the ultimate ending is still sincere to the novel.
And in conclusion…how nicely did Nicholas Hoult grow up???