Books Bullying

About a boy, or two

I took Nick Hornby’s About a Boy out of the library. Yes, I know it’s from the last century, but it looked as if it might be interesting and it was – most of it.

As the blurb says, it’s really about two boys, one of twelve who acts too old for his age and one of thirty-six who needs to grow up. I identified with the twelve-year-old, but not because I ever acted older than my age. It’s because the boy didn’t fit in at school and was therefore bullied.

I enjoyed following the characters of this story, and especially the two main characters. I found their motivations believable and interesting. And I enjoyed the humour throughout. But I was disappointed by the ending.

Firstly, on page 265 out of 278, there is a typo. It says “Ruth” where I’m pretty sure it should say “Katrina.” Not very important, but that seems to herald the bad ending.

What happens at the end is what’s supposed to happen in all good stories. The characters change. The man becomes an adult and the boy becomes a normal boy who is no longer bullied. For me, it all happens too quickly. I don’t believe that the boy’s life could have changed so fast. I want to see how it happens. I want the author to show me the process.

But he doesn’t and I’m disappointed, even though I enjoyed reading 264 278ths of the book. That’s 95%.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

2 replies on “About a boy, or two”

This sounds an interesting book. I must read it. But, yes, I agree that it does spoil things if a writer jumps too quickly from an important ‘a’ to ‘b’ without showing the process properly. I didn’t fit in at school and was bullied. I want to be shown how such a person can change, not just be quickly told that they have.

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