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Erase una vez un padre by Nick Hornby

Erase una vez un padre (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Nick Hornby

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,134122389 (3.74)154
Title:Erase una vez un padre
Authors:Nick Hornby
Info:1999. Ediciones B. 335 páginas.
Collections:Narrativa, Leído, Read but unowned
Tags:Narrativa, Novela, Literatura inglesa, Siglo XX

Work details

About a Boy by Nick Hornby (1998)

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English (114)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (121)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
I did enjoy this, though it's not my usual style. A man in his 30s needs to grow up, while a boy of 12 needs to learn to be a child... great characters, and some humour that almost made me laugh aloud in places. Thought-provoking too, pondering the meaning of life, and the importance of truth, and the nature of friendship.

More bad language than I'm comfortable with, but not as bad as some. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
This book is an entertaining, witty story that will catch you laughing out loud and unable to put it down! Enjoy. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 14, 2015 |
Great characterizations; clever; very readable.
  JosephKing6602 | May 8, 2015 |
“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.”

This is a coming of age tale but one about coming of age at middle age. Will is 36,does not work instead living off the royalties on a Christmas song that his father wrote decades ago, he spends his days lying around the house smoking,drinking and watching TV or listening to music or out shopping as he likes to consider himself 'cool'. His evenings he spends trying to pick up women for casual sex. In essence he is commitment-phobic. One days he meets and beds a single mother and discovers someone else who is also not looking for commitment. Suddenly he realises that here is a new source of casual sex that he had not previously considered so he invents a two year old son so that he can join a single parent group. While on a single parent outing he meets Marcus, a gawky pre-teen kid who allows his mum to choose everything for him,clothes,hair style,music etc. On returning to Marcus's family home they discover his mother slumped on the settee covered in vomit as result of a failed suicide attempt. Will soon learns that Marcus and his mum have recently moved to London from Cambridge and are finding it hard to adapt.Marcus's mum,Fiona, is clinically depressed and constantly tearful whilst Marcus is being bullied at school because he is new and different from the other kids thus realising that Marcus is having a really bad time of it. So when Marcus follows him home one day Will takes pity and allows him into his life. Later Will meets Rachel, a single mother,and falls in love with her whilst Marcus is befriended by Ellie,a rebellious 15 year old girl who is obsessed with Kurt Cobain and battling against authority.

The book is written with alternate chapters from both Will and Marcus so constructing a very interesting paradox between the too serious Marcus and the too irresponsible Will. This allows Hornby to show the same event from two differing perspectives with sometimes comic results that only the reader can visualize. Through their friendship we see both Marcus and Will grow. Will begins to realise that 'no man is an island' and that responsibility is not all bad whereas Marcus begins to stand up to his estranged parents and finds his own voice.

This is a relatively easy read with its language but not necessarily with its message which makes the reader examine their own relationships. I personally found Marcus's circus pyramid analogy very thought provoking. In a world of ever shifting relationships and changing family dynamics this is a very entertaining read. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 18, 2015 |
About a Boy is a book that I've dreamed about - a meaningful book about human relationships ( as opposed to adventures) that is to the point and not chock full of rambling and embellishing imagery. Sadly, I'm very honest, and I can't rate this 5/5. The reason why I like this book and why I can't give it a bogus score are the same. I'm very like Marcus. The old me is like the old Marcus from before he changed at the end. The newer me is still like him. But enough of us.

The titular reference to Nirvana hit me after the umpteenth mention of the grunge band. It was kind of daft, so many dropping references to Nirvana. But though I can see the point, it felt still gratuitous. The tricky thing that Nick Hornby has gotten into was that, it was difficult to pull of treating the death of a real person, more so when he's such a celebrity. I once based an essay on the death of former manager of Manchester United, Matt Busby. A friend of mine told me it was not conducive to a good piece of homework. He was right.

The clear and superbly understandable writing of the author was a conscious decision. It makes me want to read High Fidelity. One distinguishing characteristic of this book is its strong chapters. I feel a lot of thought got put into when to end chapters. The endings are definite, strong, and meaningful. That decision was very apparently resonant around chapters 15 to 18. There are books that have chapter endings such as " she was relieved to find the window unbroken" or " she felt at home here in the doughnut shop". Yeah, I read a quite a few cozy mysteries. But my point is, whenever cliffhangers are propped at the end of chapters in About A Boy, they catch the readers' attention. It was only at the end of chapter 32 that I noticed there were only two cliffhangers in total in the book.

I don't know why the movie version's finale centered about a stupid music day at Marcus's school. I was relieved when the book turned out to be different. In any book, there is a character most responsible for the book to end. A book needs to have an end, of course. In Lord Of The Rings, the person most responsible for the ending was Gandalf. Here the candidates for this accolade (is that the right word?) are Marcus, Rachel, and to a lesser extent, Will. They all precipitated events and the breakthrough, which was the emerging of Will and Marcus as healthier members of the society. Marcus allowed Will to get closer to Rachel. In a way Rachel got Marcus together with Will. It's not apparent, but it's there. So there we have it, my honest review and my honest rating. Bye. ( )
  Jiraiya | Aug 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
If it's comedy you want, there's a whole hilarity industry busily supplying the world of American entertainment -- except when it comes to the book business, where heroic exemplars of drollery have been a dwindling species in recent years. Despite the boom in waggish humor on television and in the movies, in the United States the comic novel is virtually a dead genre.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Hal Epsen (Jun 28, 1998)
A follow-up to High Fidelity, British writer Hornby's superb 1996 novel about pop-music obsession, About A Boy (the film rights to which have reportedly been sold for $3 million) is an acerbic, emotionally richer yet no less funny tale. Will (36, single, lonely, in search of a girlfriend and a life) meets Marcus (12, lonely, in search of happiness for himself and his suicidal mother). At first, befriending Marcus is merely an attempt to assuage a guilty conscience brought about by a life of leisure.
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Love and thanks to David Evans, Adrienne Maguire, Caroline Dawnay, Virginia Bovell, Abigail Morris, Wendy Carlton, Harry Ritchie and Amanda Posey.
In memory of Liz Knights.
First words
'Have you split up now?'
It was terrible.  Terrible! But driving really fast behind the ambulance was fantastic.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141007338, Paperback)

Will Lightman is a Peter Pan for the 1990s. At 36, the terminally hip North Londoner is unmarried, hyper-concerned with his coolness quotient, and blithely living off his father's novelty-song royalties. Will sees himself as entirely lacking in hidden depths--and he's proud of it! The only trouble is, his friends are succumbing to responsibilities and children, and he's increasingly left out in the cold. How can someone brilliantly equipped for meaningless relationships ensure that he'll continue to meet beautiful Julie Christie-like women and ensure that they'll throw him over before things get too profound? A brief encounter with a single mother sets Will off on his new career, that of "serial nice guy." As far as he's concerned--and remember, concern isn't his strong suit--he's the perfect catch for the young mother on the go. After an interlude of sexual bliss, she'll realize that her child isn't ready for a man in their life and Will can ride off into the Highgate sunset, where more damsels apparently await. The only catch is that the best way to meet these women is at single-parent get-togethers. In one of Nick Hornby's many hilarious (and embarrassing) scenes, Will falls into some serious misrepresentation at SPAT ("Single Parents--Alone Together"), passing himself off as a bereft single dad: "There was, he thought, an emotional truth here somewhere, and he could see now that his role-playing had a previously unsuspected artistic element to it. He was acting, yes, but in the noblest, most profound sense of the word."

What interferes with Will's career arc, of course, is reality--in the shape of a 12-year-old boy who is in many ways his polar opposite. For Marcus, cool isn't even a possibility, let alone an issue. For starters, he's a victim at his new school. Things at home are pretty awful, too, since his musical therapist mother seems increasingly in need of therapy herself. All Marcus can do is cobble together information with a mixture of incomprehension, innocence, self-blame, and unfettered clear sight. As fans of Fever Pitch and High Fidelity already know, Hornby's insight into laddishness magically combines the serious and the hilarious. About a Boy continues his singular examination of masculine wish-fulfillment and fear. This time, though, the author lets women and children onto the playing field, forcing his feckless hero to leap over an entirely new--and entirely welcome--set of emotional hurdles.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A comedy on a bachelor in London who specializes in affairs with single mothers. To improve his chances, he joins a single parents' association and gets a boy to pretend he is his son.

(summary from another edition)

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