“About a Boy” by Nick HornbyWill Freeman is the main character of “About a Boy”, even though he isalready far from being a boy. In fact, he is 38-year-old single Londoner.
Will lives in his own world – which appropriately refers to as anisland – where owning an expensive car and designer clothes fulfill hissatisfaction. He is ecstatically childfree and against marriage, heactually feels sorry for married people with children. He wants to live hisown life and does not want to think of other people’s problems or beresponsible for them. His philosophy is to mean nothing, about anything toanyone and he thinks this will guarantee him a long, depression-free life.Order now
His nights, whenever possible, are devoted to beautiful women, withwhom he deliberately never starts a serious relationship. He likes the ideaof having a girlfriend, but plots his escape from them as soon as thingsget too serious or complicated. He is very proud of his way of life and of what he is doing. He ishandsome, self-observed, rich, yet shallow and women find his appearanceirresistible. Will spends his days buying new CDs, shopping for designerclothes and worrying about his up-to-the-second hairstyle on which hespends a fortune.
How he finds time for all that is simply due to his lack of aprofessional life. Thanks to a ubiquitous Christmas song written by hisfather and recorded by everyone from Elvis to the Muppets, Will does nothave to work like the rest of the world. The royalties rolling in haveenabled him to make a profession – an art, really – out of avoidingresponsibility and filling his days with tasks of ease and fundamentallyunproductive actions. Nevertheless, he occasionally volunteers toparticipate in minor jobs such as work in soup kitchens, volunteer work,for which he fills in forms yet never reports for duty. A brief encounter with a single mother sets Will off on his newcareer, that of “serial nice guy”. As far as he is concerned, he is theperfect catch for the young mother on the go.
After an interlude of sexualbliss, she will realize that her child is not ready for a man in theirlife. Will, having searched for a way out of the relationship with his lastvictim, happily rides off to the sunset where more single mothersapparently await. The only catch is that the best way to meet these womenis at single-parent get-togethers. That is when the lies begin.
He joinsSPAT – Single Parents Alone Together – and all of a sudden, he is a singlefather of an imaginary child among many single mothers who all feel sorryfor him because “the mother of his son took off and left him with all theresponsibility”. As Will feels comfortable with telling lies, he createsthe illusion of his son by buying all sorts of child accessories to accountfor his always-absent child. What interferes with Will’s well thought-through strategy, of course,is reality – in the shape of a 12-year-old boy who is in many ways hispolar opposite. Having to put up with this child, who happens to beannoying, weird and entirely unaccustomed to fashion, for a long time findsa new view to life and himself.
He even falls in love, which is a firsttime ever for him. In just a few weeks, he turns his philosophy from beingselfish and egocentric to being somewhat responsible and even caring. Tiina Thnas