When I started blogging I made a list of Some Books I’ve Read 3 or More Times. I then noted that I could probably get a lot of mileage out of writing blog posts on the books on that list. I’m down to the last three books on that list, and doesn’t it work out nicely that two of them are books I associate with Christmas.
About a Boy by Nick Hornby is a book that has a movie version. I think I’ve seen the movie more often than I’ve read the book. That is rare, but in this case I own the movie not the book. This is also rare. I particularly like this movie adaptation as it has done a really good job with internal dialogue. The book is full of internal dialogue — and in the movie voice-overs provide access to the two point-of-view characters’ thoughts. I think it is well done.
Nick Hornby writes very interesting books about life in London. Yes, he is another UK writer that I like a lot. About A Boy happens to be his book I’ve read more than three times, and I do enjoy it, but I’m not sure it represents Hornby’s best work. I think one of Hornby’s most brilliant novels is Juliet, Naked. Really Really Really Good. Really. J,N plays with postmodern analysis of art, particularly music and lyrics, and the work of a particular artist. I’ve only read Juliet, Naked once so far, but I plan to go back to it.
One thing I appreciate about Hornby is the different things he tries in his books. He’s written from a variety of points of view, using male and female p.0.v. characters as well as old and young p.o.v. characters. His setting is usually London, but he isn’t stuck there. He addresses interesting issues and I like most of his characters. They are interesting people. There is usually a comic element in Hornby’s books even though they address big meaning-of-life questions. I enjoy the ironic twist in the books. All that to say if you haven’t checked out Hornby’s work, give it a shot. About a Boy is probably a good place to start. Read the book first, but the movie is also very good.
I almost forgot to tell you why About A Boy is a Christmas book! The main adult character makes his living from royalties on a Christmas song. That his father wrote. The book has some pretty good Christmas moments in it as well, complete with awkward families. It is a bit of a stretch to call this a seasonal book, but I associate it with Christmas. In my head it works.