By Nick Hornby
Will Lightman is a Peter Pan for the Nineties. At 36, the terminally hip North Londoner is single, hyper-concerned along with his coolness quotient, and blithely residing off his father's novelty-song royalties. Will sees himself as fullyyt missing in hidden depths--and he's happy with it! the single hassle is, his acquaintances are succumbing to tasks and youngsters, and he's more and more omitted within the chilly. How can a person brilliantly outfitted for meaningless relationships make sure that he'll proceed to satisfy attractive Julie Christie-like ladies and make sure that they'll throw him over ahead of issues get too profound? a quick come upon with a unmarried mom units Will off on his new profession, that of "serial great guy." so far as he's concerned--and have in mind, challenge isn't his powerful suit--he's definitely the right capture for the younger mom at the move. After an interlude of sexual bliss, she'll observe that her baby isn't prepared for a guy of their lifestyles and should can trip off into the Highgate sundown, the place extra damsels it seems that look forward to. the single capture is that tips to meet those girls is at single-parent get-togethers. in a single of Nick Hornby's many hilarious (and embarrassing) scenes, Will falls into a few severe misrepresentation at SPAT ("Single Parents--Alone Together"), passing himself off as a bereft unmarried dad: "There used to be, he idea, an emotional fact right here someplace, and he might see now that his role-playing had a formerly unsuspected creative aspect to it. He was once performing, definite, yet within the noblest, so much profound feel of the word."
What interferes with Will's occupation arc, in fact, is reality--in the form of a 12-year-old boy who's in lots of methods his polar contrary. For Marcus, cool isn't even available, not to mention a subject matter. For starters, he's a sufferer at his new institution. issues at domestic are lovely lousy, too, on the grounds that his musical therapist mom turns out more and more wanting remedy herself. All Marcus can do is cobble jointly info with a mix of incomprehension, innocence, self-blame, and unfettered transparent sight. As fanatics of Fever Pitch and High Fidelity already be aware of, Hornby's perception into laddishness magically combines the intense and the hilarious. About a Boy maintains his singular exam of masculine wish-fulfillment and worry. This time, even though, the writer shall we girls and kids onto the taking part in box, forcing his feckless hero to jump over a completely new--and fullyyt welcome--set of emotional hurdles.
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He wanted to tear out his tongue and grind it into the wooden floor with his foot. She looked at him, smiled nervously and glanced across at the waiter, probably calculating how long it would take for the waiter to hurl himself across the room and wrestle Will to the floor. Will both understood and sympathized. If a complete stranger were to sit down next to you in a coffee shop and tell you quietly that he liked Pinky and Perky as an opening conversational gambit, you could only presume that you were about to be decapitated and hidden under the floorboards.
Hello, Will. ’ He laughed. She laughed. He spent as much of the evening as courtesy allowed in her company. His conversation with Frances had sharpened him up, so he did better on the Ned front. In any case Suzie wanted to talk, and in these circumstances he was extremely happy to listen. There was a lot to listen to. Suzie had been married to a man called Dan, who had started an affair when she was six months pregnant and had left her the day before she went into labour. Dan had only seen his daughter Megan once, accidentally, in the Body Shop in Islington.
His mother didn’t notice – the first advantage of her terrible depression that he’d found so far. It wasn’t a big advantage, though; on the whole he’d rather she was cheerful enough to send him back to the larder. He’d quite happily give up Coco Pops if she’d give up crying all the time. He ate his cereal, drank his tea, picked up his bag and gave his mother a kiss, just a normal one, not a soppy, understanding one, and went out. Neither of them said a word. What else was he supposed to do? On the way to school he tried to work out what was wrong with her.