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Word Count: 1,151
Will an idle thirtysomething bachelor living in London who invents himself a son in order to score dates with young single mothers Through this familial subterfuge he meets Marcus Nicholas Hoult the oddball 12-year-old son of a depressive hippie Toni Collette who turns his world around and eventually leads him to his dreamgirl Rachel Weisz I think the kid is Hornbys greatest creation Grant contends and maybe closest to his heart because hes got an autistic son Emotionally speaking Will is the kid Marcus the adult but its not Big Daddy and its not Tom Hanks being a child Grant insists My theory is Will has just sort of avoided pain for a lot of his lifehes avoided long-term relationships having kids because they have a pain capability I recognize that syndrome in myself and certainly in a bunch of my friends Will is thirty-six but acts like a teenager Single child-free and still feeling cool he reads the right magazines goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear Hes also discovered a great way to score with women - at single parents groups full of available and grateful mothers all waiting for Mr Nice Guy Thats where he meets Marcus the oldest twelve-year-old in the world Marcus is a bit strange he listens to Joni Mitchell and Mozart he looks after his Mum and hes never even owned a pair of trainers Perhaps if Will can teach Marcus how to be a kid Marcus can help Will grow up - and they can both start to act their age The cover of Nick Hornbys new novel says it all the red-and-white background a sub-subliminal advertisement to Arsenal fans and the iconic letters of Boy the B from Budweiser the O from Rolo and the Y from Yves Saint Laurent Football consumption and mens-mag fashion this is the stuff of Hornby Man About a Boy examines growing
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