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Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”


Nick Hornby’s novel, About A Boy, explores the multifaceted relationship between two characters, Marcus and Will. The story is based on Marcus, a twelve-year-old who is eccentric, bullied, and extremely introverted. The entire story describes Marcus’s intricacy of finding a sense of balance between being a child and being a grown-up man. The title of the story is significant and highly appropriate in the context because the novelist bestows a detailed description of the boy Marcus.

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The author consumes, in a very delicate way, his literary craftsmanship which shows the change in Marcus throughout the novel. Hornby portrays the character of Marcus as a peculiar one as the way he thinks and acts is in a normal way, but often it is assumed by other people like the boy’s craziness. The novels help the reader to understand the adjustment problems of a boy named Marcus.


Hornby’s selection of the title in his novel is relevant and it promotes a sense of curiosity in the minds of the readers about the characters and plot of the novel. One can see specialties in the characters of Marcus and Will and the title reveals the convolution in the plot. Will is a 36-year-old man who spends most of his time watching television programs and smoking. Will approaches life in a quite silly way as one can see from his thoughts and actions which reveal his boyish nature.

The entire novel discusses the ongoing relationship between these two peculiar boys. More than this, the title is a paradox of the Nirvana song titled About A Girl which is practiced by Will and Marcus. The title is more significant because of its visible connection with the theme.

By analyzing Nick Hornby’s novel, the reader can easily comprehend that the novel is about Marcus, the twelve-year-old boy who feels displaced and lonely many times in his life. Even though the novel portrays the story of Marcus, Will Freeman, an emotionally undeveloped man also plays an important role in this novel. The title is more suitable for Marcus, the twelve-year-old boy. Based on physical appearance it is suited for Marcus and psychologically the title is obviously matched with both Marcus and Will.

By comparing Will Freeman, one can understand that Marcus’s character is more complex and Derick Sweet comments that; “Marcus begins as the type of individual who thinks everything through, who is cautious, and who tries to keep himself from seeing how bad things are to get through to the next day” (Sweet). Nick Hornby presents the character of Marcus as a peculiar one in this novel. Society never accepts Marcus as a grown-up person and has perceived him as a boy. His relation with Rachel helps him to reach the status of a normal citizen. As a result of Will’s company, Marcus is ganged in to be a suited person in society.


To conclude, Nick Hornby’s novel, About A Boy, helps the reader to think about the unlikely relationship between a twelve-year-old by Marcus and Will Freeman. The title of the novel explores the real content of the novel. The ‘boy’ referred to in this novel is Marcus, a twelve-year-old boy with having eccentric and introverted nature. The novel also presents another important character Will Freeman, an emotionally undeveloped man.

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Hornby explores the emotional and psychological changes of a boy through the relationship between Marcus and Will. It is clear for a reader to comprehend the fact between the adjustment problems of a boy having mature expectations about life and a grown-up man having ridiculous expectations about life are revealed in the novel About A Boy. The ‘boy’ in this novel demonstrates the specialty in the character of Marcus.

Work Cited

Sweet, Derick. Book Reviews: About a Boy, by nick Horn by. Helium. 2010. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 22). Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”.

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"Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”." StudyCorgi, 22 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”." November 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”." November 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”." November 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Nick Hornsby’s “About a Boy”'. 22 November.

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