Fictional interview with Nick Hornby by Eva Mühlberger, Q 11


Hi Nick, nice to meet you! Could you tell us something about your book “About a boy“, please?

Nice to meet you, too! Of course, I can. My book is about the friendship between Will  Freeman, a 36-year-old single man, and Marcus, who is a 12-year-old child. Marcus and his mum moved from Cambridge to London and life is not really easy there for Marcus, because he is so different from his peers. With the help of Will he learns how to be a child.

That sounds interesting! But how did you get the idea of writing a book about a friendship between an adult and a child? It’s rather unusual, isn’t it?

To be honest, my wife inspired me. She works in a kindergarten and there was a child who was bullied by the others because of his clothes and his hairstyle just like Marcus. My wife was the only “friend” he had, but she also helped him to find other friends in kindergarten. That was the moment when I realized that a friendship between an adult and a child can also work.

Suicide attempts are also a big issue in the book. Why does this topic play such a big role in your story?

Because suicide attempts were also a big topic in my life. My dad tried to kill himself because of alcohol problems and I think it is very important to talk about this topic. I want to show the people that life can offer loads of positive aspects, too, and that you can help other people with their problems.

Well, and something else which would be interesting is why you have written the book from two perspectives. You know, the view, from which the story is told, keeps changing between Marcus and Will.

That was because I wanted the two totally opposing opinions and points of views of both to be shown. I think that makes the book more interesting.

Yeah, the adjectives ‚interesting‘ and ‚exciting‘ describe your book well. Thank you, Nick Hornby, for this interesting and exciting interview!

You’re welcome! It was my pleasure!