Nick Hornby is defintely one of my favourite authors. Which is ironic because I’m probably the exact opposite of the target demographic. All three of his books I’ve read are mainly focused on middle-aged male characters. Somehow though, I really enjoy reading them.
One of the great things about reading is that while you are in that book you get to live an entirely different life. So when I read this book, getting to live the entwined lives of both Will and Marcus were really fascinating.
Whenever I finish one of Hornby’s books I’m always left with the feeling that I really enjoyed it. When thinking back, though, I realise there’s nothing spectacular about his writing – at least that I’ve managed to notice. It’s just that the slice of life stories about the characters are so intriguing. They’re written in such a way that you become invested into their lives and how they change over the course of the story. In this book especially, and also his others, the way he builds up and develops a small yet decent ensemble of characters just completely makes the story. His books just seem like real life and all the connections between the characters are so interesting and so believable: nothing feels forced.
With this book, the fact that it was written with the alternating view points was awesome. It eliminated the need to have to listen to Will, who comes across as really entitled (rightfully so) for a good majority of the book. Adding the view point of Marcus, whose personality is pretty much the opposite of Will’s really balances the story out. The pairing of these two characters works perfectly; as the story progresses they each slowly become more like the other. There is a part of the book where they are really on the same page for a while – and then Will becomes like Marcus at the start, and Marcus like Will. The ending of the story has a real ‘life-lesson’ kind of feel to it, and it’s alluded to in the blurb even. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up? Pretty much the answer is just yes.
I can’t think of anything extraordinary that made me like this book: it’s just that I always walk away from Nick Hornby’s books really enjoying the time I spent reading them.