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About a boy - Nick Hornby: Chapter summary

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Nick Hornby – Slam Reading Log chapter 1 summary The maincharacter, 15-year-old Sam, is introduced. He likes skating (his idol is Tony Hawk), his parents don’t live together anymore and he’s in love with a girl named Alicia. personal thoughts • Sam really adores Tony Hawk • Sam is a little bit weird (he talks with a poster of Tony Hawk) new words • pathetic: weak, not successful • to own up to sth.: to admit, to confess • to duct tape sb.: to tie sb up with strong adhesive tape • to screw sth. up: to make a mistake chapter 2 summary Sam talks about his…
About A Boy by Nick Hornby: Analysis Chapter 5 Analysis Chapter 5 02.11.11 The fifth chapter of the novel “About A Boy” from Nick Hornby published in 1998 is about Marcus, a 12-year-old boy, and his problems at home and in school. Marcus doesnt know what to do. His mother starts crying and he has no clue why. So he starts to think about what might have happened or what he has done wrong. But he comes to no conclusion. As he arrives in school he greets his friends but they ignore him. Again he doesnt know the reason. In the break time his so-called-frien­ds…

About a boy by Nick Hornby

Reading Journal


Content

1. Book summary

2. Book recommendation in a letter to a friend

3. Write a vocabulary list for each chapter

4. Summerize the most important facts of 4 Chapters: The “w” questions

5. Choose two or more Characters to write Characterisations

6. Write a newspaper article on an event of the novel


1. Book summary

Chapter 1 we are given basic information on Marcus and his mum, Fiona: that they recently moved from Cambridge to London, that his parents are splitted up and that his mother had several relationships none of which worked out. Her latest boyfriend, Roger, has just left the flat never to return. Marcus is interested about the reasons they split up and so they have a conversation about them.

After that they watch TV. Marcus worries about her mental state and only chooses trouble less films and they order pizza and have a quite normal evening.


Chapter 2

Will joins an afternoon alone in his flat to definite how cool he is. The reader gets some basic information on Will´s outlook on life in general. Will does not want to get married and even loathes children. Therefore he is a mystery to his friends, John and Christine. Later that day he visits John and Christine. A few weeks ago they get a new baby calls Imogen, so that Barney, their two-year old has a sister.

They want Will to be her godfather but Will does not really like children. John and Christine also know Jessica, Will´s ex- girlfriend, that’s why Will starts to think about her.


Chapter 3

Marcus cannot sleep because he is afraid of school. Marcus is different and he knows that the other kids bully him .But in the first period after break they read a book and then they discuss how to get to know if somebody is mad. One girl makes a bad joke about Marcus’ singing in class and the young teacher does not helps him.


Chapter 4

 Will meets Angie, a young mother in a record shop. He likes her so he pretends he like children, only to get the chance for a date with her. First their relationship seems to work but the Angie splits up because she thinks Will not wants to waste his time with a single parent mother and so she quit their relationship. Cynic that he is, he decides that “single mothers – bright, attractive, available women, thousands of them, all over London – were the best invention Will had ever heard of.”


Chapter 5

Fiona starts to cry in the morning. Marcus knows that is a bad omen. Marcus is frightened about his mother but he does not know what to do. Later in school, at break time, he wants to go to two guys, who seem to be his friend. They’re also called Nicky and Mark, send him away because they are afraid of the older guys, who always harass him and they do not want to get their victims, too.

Marcus does not have a great time at school in general because they always mistreat him because he is different.


Chapter 6

Will pretends to be a single father because he wants to be part of the SPAT group to meet more women like Angie, who really impressed him. At the single parent group he meets Suzie who seems really nice to him. He invents Ned, his imaginary two year old son, to join the group.


Chapter 7

Marcus goes shopping because he wants to spend the weekend at his father´s home in Cambridge. But at the shop are some bad guys from school who following Marcus and put some sweets and other things in his pocket so Mr. Patel is forced to think Marcus want to steel them. But Mr. Patel has seen the boys and so Marcus can go home without penalization.

At home Fiona tells Marcus that Suzie has invited him to the yearly SPAT picnic but Marcus does not really want because he does not like SPAT.


Chapter 8

Will meets Suzie and Marcus and Regent´s Park to the picnic. Will does not know Marcus, it’s their first meet. Will thinks that Marcus is really strange. Will is not nice to him, his behavior towards Marcus is quite unfriendly but Marcus does not act better than Will. Will is frightened that his game might be discovered, because he always has to find a suitable story, were his fictitious son Ned could be.

He also is frightened that he could mix up all his several lies, for example using a wrong name. He, for example, doesn’t know at first what Suzie is talking about, when she complains about Paula (His fictitious ex-wife). In the car Will tells them about his father’s song (“Santa’s super sleigh”) and that he lives off the royalties so .....[read full text]

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Besides he even spreads biscuits and crisps over the seat, so that the whole situation seems to be more authentic.


Chapter 13

In this chapter, Will takes Fiona and Marcus to a restaurant. Marcus insisted on Fiona coming with them, not because he is afraid of leaving her alone (as he told Will before), but he tries to get Will and his mother together. When they finally sit in this restaurant, Will and Fiona don’t say anything. Marcus is worried about this situation and wants them to start a conversation in order to getting to know each other better.

After several attempts to "help" them, they finally talk to each other and Marcus thinks that he will reach his aim which is getting a family.


Chapter 14

It is the first time that Will visits Fiona and Marcus. But now he really knows that Fiona absolutely is not his type. Fiona doesn´t wear nice clothes, believes in “alternative things”, which Will can´t understand at all, and is “just too hippy”. But Will also considers that keeping up the relationship with them, could replace working in soup kitchens or at the Media Guardian.

However, he soon rejects this possibility, and hopes never to see them again, as he recalls this absolutely awful supper at their home: At home Marcus and Fiona sing "Killing me softly" at the piano with eyes closed what makes Will sick. Home again, Will decides to end this "single mum thing ". But unfortunately Marcus rings the door-bell and confronts Will with the fact that he knows that Will doesn´t have a child.

He had pursued him everywhere he went, and noticed that it was simply impossible that Will could have a child at home. The clever boy wants to offer Will a deal: He won´t tell his Mum that Will was lying at them all the time, if Will starts to date Fiona. Will is really surprised that a child could catapult him into such a dilemma.


Chapter 15

After school Marcus usually visits Will -The first time Marcus popped around Will wasn’t very pleased, but he let Marcus in -The following times Will seemed to get used to Marcus visits -Will has a flat which looks like the flat Marcus would have if he were old enough -Will has a lot of gadgets in the kitchen even if they look as if they had never been used -They talk about different things, for example about Marcus’ problems in school, music and television.

Will does not know why but they spent the afternoon gain.



.....

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In the pub Fiona tries to tell him again that Marcus doesn´t need Will or any other male influence. Fiona even wants Will to keep out of their life and Will has to agree.


FIONA

 * sees that Will has already influence on Marcus, which is quite shocking to her

 * wants Will to keep out of their life


WILL

 * starts to reflect on his life

 * starts to think about Marcus´ and Fiona´s situation

 * is fascinated of Fiona, but without sexual interest


Chapter 19

Fiona forbids Marcus to visit Will but he will not obey her. At school Marcus has to talk with the headmistress Mrs. Morrison about his shoes. At the headmistresses office he meets Ellie McCrae, a really rebellious girl at his school. They had a real weird conversation and Ellie makes jokes about Marcus because he does not know who Kurt Cobain is.

Mrs. Morrison does not really help Marcus; she only gives him tips to get out of the way of the shoe thieves. That makes Marcus really angry and so goes away from school, now he is a truant. He skips school and walks through the city. Marcus realizes and accepts that he just isn`t normal and thus feels relieved. He wonders whether his life will change after this afternoon as a truant in a negative way




.....

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Chapter 23

Marcus spends Christmas with his mum and dad. That’s good for him because he gets some useful presents and some fun presents. But also Will, Lindsey and Lindsey’s mum celebrate Christmas with them. They eat together, open their presents, watch TV and discuss Clive rolling a joint. After supper Suzie comes round with her little girl and Will decides to go because the whole SPAT thing is a problem between him and Suzie.

The situation gets very awkward when Megan decides that Will has to help her to open her present. It gets very embarrassing for Will when Lindsey asks about the SPAT thing. That’s the point when Will finally decides to go. Marcus tries to hold him back and tells them the whole story with Kurt Cobain and about the day of the dead duck.


Chapter 24:

In this chapter Will is at a New Year's party in the house of Robert, a man that produces television programs. At this party, Will is a bit drunk, he become acquainted with Rachel, a woman that works on children's books. He falls in love with her and it seems to be the first time Will ever falls in love. Will is a sad, because he has nothing to tell her, that might interest her and he doesn't want to make up a story that is not true again.

Then Rachel wants to know why Will knows Robert and he says that he knows him, because Robert had been his drug dealer in the middleighties. After that Rachel turns away and talks to someone else. A few moments later Will interrupts the conversation, and tells Rachel that he has a special relationship to a 12 year old boy called Marcus. Then she says that she has a 12 year old boy, too, named Alistair.

Rachel asks him several questions about Marcus and Will answers them. He never lies, but never tells her that Marcus isn't his son either but Rachel thinks that Marcus is Will's son, but Will never said this. In the end they talk about Rachel's ex-husband and Marcus's mother before they end their conversation with a kiss and the promise to meet again. In this chapter the character of Will develops, from a womanizer that uses women just as sex- objects for his own interests, to a real lover that shows feelings somehow.


C.....

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Marcus runs away from Rachel´s place because he is fed up with Alistair and his speech impressed him really much. Will finds him at a bus station near Rachel´s place; he can convince him to come back to Rachel and her son, but from that time on everything changes. Ali has to say “sorry” to Marcus, but because of his behavior Marcus thinks that Ali is a psycho.

Marcus also watches Will when he looks at Rachel tenderly and he practices to look like Will. He wants Ellie to become his girlfriend and this is why he looks at her in that silly way.

He tries, but the trick does not work on her. She only asks him: “Are you going cross- eyed?” and suggests that “maybe (he) need(s) new glasses”. When Ellie, Marcus and Zoe are at the newsagent´s some stupid guys of Marcus’ school appear and make fun of him. Ellie helps him and gives one of the boys a slap and they run away. This makes Marcus more fascinated by Ellie than he has been before.


Chapter 28

Will and Marcus talk about Ellie and Marcus’s admiration for her. Will tries to explain to Marcus that she only tries to protect him from being bullied at school, but that she doesn’t really seem to love Marcus. But Marcus doesn’t really mind, he only wants to be with her. Afterwards Will goes to a Chinese restaurant with Rachel and finally he confesses to her that he isn’t Marcus’s natural father.

At first Rachel doesn’t understand that and she knows that Will has lied to her. They discuss why Will has had to invent a son and both come to the conclusion that it made him more interesting. Nevertheless Will doesn’t tell her the SPAT thing, but he realizes that he really fell in love with Rachel and thus he becomes vulnerable.


Chapter 29

Summary: Marcus had some weeks, in which he doesn’t realize it, up to the morning on which Fiona began to cry again. Marcus tells Will that his mum is depressed again and wants him to help her. But Will explains Marcus that they only are friends although if he is an adult and so it is not his duty to care about his mum.

Therefore Marcus wants to talk to Ellie about his problems at home, because she has always been very nice to him. But when he goes to her classroom to see her she is in a very bad mood. The reason is that Kurt Cobain again tried to kill himself. Marcus tries to explain to her that she is not really concerned by his suicide because she does.....

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Chapter 31

Marcus thinks about Ellie and wishes to age three years and to get cool so that Ellie will like him. Furthermore, he wishes that his mum will get better and that he will score the winning goal for the school football team and so become the most popular person in school. When he arrives at home, his mum asks Marcus to visit his dad because he has broken his collar bone by falling off a window-ledge.

But the boy doesn´t want to go to his father because he never really cared about him and didn´t want to see Marcus the years before. On the next day, Marcus asks Ellie if she wants to go with him to visit his dad, because he wants Ellie, his "guided missile", to "attack" his dad. Moreover, he will spend an hour with Ellie, alone in the train.

In the train station, Marcus becomes aware of all the newspapers with headlines like "Rock star Cobain shot himself“and immediately makes a connection to his mother. But he also thinks about Ellie and how she might react. Then the two meet and Marcus suggests to make a test whether Ellie trusts him or not: he wants to lead her through the station with her eyes closed so that she is not able to see all the papers with the news that her favorite singer is dead.

But suddenly Ellie says that she knows the reason for this test and that she has already seen the papers. Ellie isn´t really ok and says that she will get drunk. Now Marcus realizes that Ellie is in fact not like a "guided missile" and that this theory only works in school. But outside, Ellie is scary.


Chapter 32

Rachel plans to talk with Fiona, because they are both single parents. So Rachel, Fiona and Will decide to go to a pub together and after a while Will plans to leave so that the women can talk to each other alone. Will reaches the pub as the first and then Fiona joins him. Both are a bit nervous and so Will doesn’t understand Fiona’s question about Rachel at first.

They chat about inconsequential things like Fiona’s T-shirt while they are waiting for Rachel. Will calls her but Rachel isn’t at home. He hopes that Rachel will join them soon and when Fiona starts crying he hopes it more than ever before but Rachel doesn’t appear. So Will has to deal with the situation. Therefore they go to the Pizza Express and Will wants to start a conversation with Fiona so that he can help her although he think.....

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