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Book Into Film – About a Boy
August 6, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
About A Boy, is a 1998 coming of age novel by Nick Hornby. It is about two boys, Will a 36-year-old bachelor, and Marcus, an introverted, bullied 12-year-old with a suicidal mother. Will never has to work thanks to the royalties from his father’s hit song so he has a lot of spare time, most of which is spent smoking, watching TV, listening to music, and looking for female companionship.
After a pleasant relationship with a single mother, Will comes up with the idea of attending a single parents group as a new way to pick up women. He invents a two-year old son called Ned. It is at one of these single parents meetings he comes to know Marcus and a friendship develops. Will helps Marcus fit into the modern world by taking him shopping and buying him shoes and introducing him to the music of Nirvana. Marcus helps Will learn to take life and relationships more seriously.
Trivia* for About a Boy:
The title is a reference to the song “About a Girl” by Nirvana. This was confirmed by the author in the December 2, 2001 edition of the BBC Radio 4 series, “Book Club”. The band is featured in the book, and Patti Smith’s tribute to Kurt Cobain, “About a Boy“.
A film adaptation was released in 2002 by Chris and Paul Weitz. It starred Nicholas Hoult as Marcus, Hugh Grant as Will, Toni Collette as Fiona, and Rachel Weisz as Rachel. While the screenplay closely follows Hornby’s novel, it omits scenes involving drug use and has a different ending. It removes any reference to the band Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. The soundtrack to the film, including several full songs and numerous incidental pieces, was composed entirely by British singer-songwriter Badly Drawn Boy.
About a Boy is available on abridged audiobook, read by Alan Cumming.