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About A Boy

Finished About A Boy today. I was right: it was a quick read. A few bits were oddly familiar, making me think I'd read the book before but forgotten, but the rest was completely new to me. Realized I'd long ago seen the trailer for the film, and that must be it.

It was enjoyable. Light, but enjoyable. I don't have a lot to say about it, due to its lightness. I liked the kid, mainly. Probably my inner geek coming out. I was never too much of a geek in school, though. I always had good friends, never got bullied, that sort of thing. I went through my painful phases, but no one ever seemed to notice. I do remember a couple of months (maybe shorter than that ... time expands in high school) when I had no one to eat lunch with, but it didn't last long. Still, it was kind of sad. I identify with geeks more as an adult than I did as a kid, even when I was sitting there reading through lunch in 4th grade. I was kind of oblivious to the social pecking order.

Anyway, enjoyed the book. Looking forward to moving on to something with a bit more heft ... here's hoping I'm up to it. If not, if I have trouble like I did with Lady Oracle, I'll put the book away and read something lighter again. No shame in it.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2006 09:19 am (UTC)
Actually one interesting thing about that book, I thought, was the "Englishness" of the ending, the way that keeping up with trendiness and rebelling against your parents (even specifically a good parent) was presented as a positive thing. The English always seemed to be much more pro-fashion than Americans to me. I guess I was just taken by surprise -- comparing it to, say, Daniel Pinkwater in its treatment of young outcasts. Pinkwater presents the outcasts and their "adult-world" mindset as objectively better than the idiotically ahistorical world of the popular kids. Hornby says that the kid's better off now he's shed nerdiness and embraced thuggery. It made me kind of uncomfortable, which I guess goes to show that I'm still connected to my fourth-grade geek self somehow.
Jan. 10th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
You're definitely right. The ending made me uncomfortable, too. It was explicitly stated that Marcus had left himself behind for this new person he'd become. Left himself behind? Why is that good? Conformity at the cost of individuality? How is that an improvement? Okay, so he won't get beaten up anymore, but is that really the greatest good? Initially, Will had said that Marcus could still be himself on the inside, but just present a front to keep himself from being bullied ... but at the end of the book it's made clear that Marcus has actually changed inside and that it's a positive thing.

As I said, it made me uncomfortable, too.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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