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Erase una vez un padre by Nick Hornby
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Erase una vez un padre (original 1998; edition 1999)

by Nick Hornby

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,871117423 (3.74)144
Member:Mora.
Title:Erase una vez un padre
Authors:Nick Hornby
Info:Ediciones B. 1999. 335 páginas.
Collections:Mi biblioteca, Leído, B2E3
Rating:*****
Tags:Novela, literatura inglesa, siglo XX

Work details

About a Boy by Nick Hornby (1998)

  1. 40
    High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (Maurizio70)
  2. 10
    May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes (basia.k)
    basia.k: Another book where an incongruous group of people come together to form a buoyant, chaotic family.
  3. 10
    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (derelicious)
  4. 00
    This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (BeckyJG)
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» See also 144 mentions

English (111)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (116)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
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 |
This was a throughouly amazing book. This is my second Hornby novel (first was [book: High Fidelity]. And I loved every minute of it. This was literally a book that I did not want to put down. I am an devoted reader, but this book was not just reading for something to do, I wanted to read because the characters were so fun. Both of the Hornby books I've read after seeing the associated movies, and I worry that that is perhaps why I think they are so great: I already have a cast of characters in my head acting. Whatever it is, this book was fun. Perhaps now I shall have to venture to reading a book that hasn't been a movie first... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This was a throughouly amazing book. This is my second Hornby novel (first was [book: High Fidelity]. And I loved every minute of it. This was literally a book that I did not want to put down. I am an devoted reader, but this book was not just reading for something to do, I wanted to read because the characters were so fun. Both of the Hornby books I've read after seeing the associated movies, and I worry that that is perhaps why I think they are so great: I already have a cast of characters in my head acting. Whatever it is, this book was fun. Perhaps now I shall have to venture to reading a book that hasn't been a movie first... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
RABCK from hostile17; Very humorous - I could almost hear Hugh Grant's voice throughout in the role of Will, the inept womanizer, who despite himself gets caught up making friends with women who have children. Marcus, one of the preteen boys, decides to latch on to him and not give up, with hilarious results. Tagged and off to Egypt next. ( )
  nancynova | Apr 19, 2014 |
about a boy was a very interesting book about single fathers pretending to have children to get single mothers to date them. My favorite part was marcus (wills friend) surprised ( )
  br14evdi | Dec 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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?'
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:46 -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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