About a boy

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uppladdat: 2006-04-03
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Background
The book takes place in London, England. That’s where Will, on of the two most important characters in the book, lives. I don’t remember exactly but I think that the story takes place in the middle of the 90’s. It doesn’t really matter, the important thing is that the reader realize that this sort of things are just as crucial now as they where ten years ago.

Important characters in this book are:

Will
Will is a thirty-six year old man and wears the latest fashion. He drives home to his nice apartment in a quite modern car. He is a shallow kind of man who just goes out with women just to get in bed with them, and every time he doesn’t, it’s just a waste of time. He can be described as a man that likes to have the cake, but doesn’t want to eat it.

Marcus
He is twelve years old and doesn’t give any second thoughts about what he wears. This boy is one of a kind, and he’s ashamed of it. He doesn’t understand why people reject and dislikes him. Meeting Will helps him to be another kind of person, which better suit the society and its demands.

Fiona
She is Marcus mom and early in the book she tries to kill herself. The attempt fails and she is put in hospital. Without judging her too much, she doesn’t seem to be able to reach out to and talk seriously to Marcus, as a mother should.

Ellie
She is a girl that goes to the same school as Marcus. At first she is a bit hostile to Marcus but eventually they become friends. Ellie enters the story pretty late, but she plays a very important part of it, as a result of Marcus new lifestyle.

The plot takes place in chronological order. Almost every chapter begin in either Marcus or Wills point of view.

Will sees many possibilities in lonely, divorced women with darkened sight on men. That’s why he becomes a member of an association called SPAT (Single Parents- Alone Together). There he meets Suzie, a woman that is a friend of Fiona, Marcus mother. Suzie helps out and takes care of Marcus when his mother wants to be alone. Then one day, when Will, Suzie and her daughter Megan are about to have a picnic in the park, Marcus is going with them. By then Will thinks that Marcus is a weird boy.

When they come home after the picnic they discover Fiona on the sofa, drugged. By the time Marcus was out she had tried to kill herself. Fortunately, Fiona survives and soon she comes home from hospital. Marcus is angry at his mother, because it makes him sad, as if he had a part of her trying to kill herself, and also because he thinks it was a cowardly act. As a result of this Marcus is spending more time with Will, who he likes to be with.
When Will buys Marcus a new pair of shoes, the boys at school steals them. When he goes home he tells Fiona about it, but he doesn’t bother as mush as she does. Fiona thinks that it is Wills fault and that she doesn’t want him to take care of Marcus, which makes Will relieved. They decide that Marcus and Will aren’t going to meet anymore.

At school, which is new for Marcus, he is bullied every day, and it doesn’t make things easier that the principal doesn’t like him. A meeting with Mrs. Morrison ends up in fury, both from Marcus and Mrs. Morrison. When he leaves, he doesn’t think about Mrs. Morrison, but Ellie, who he saw and talked with in the waiting room. He was kind of afraid of Ellie before, but it was something he liked about her strength in being disobedient.

He spends more and more time with the bad girl Ellie. He goes to Will to tell about her and maybe get some pointers about what to do. The story just goes on and Will becomes a greater part of Marcus’s life. They spend Christmas together and Will enjoy being around these odd people showing up at Marcus’s home.
After Christmas Will meets a new girl, Rachel, which he finds very attractive but also interesting. Will thinks for himself that he has been influenced by Marcus’ way of thinking, and that he plays a part in Will falling for Rachel.

This story is one of those which end in a happy way. Will and Marcus realize that it is important to look after each other and surround themselves with people that appreciates them. Wedding planes are made between Will and Rachel, when her son, who earlier was hostile against Will and Marcus, finally accepts them.

There are many messages in this book. The fact that some people grow up with advantages that other doesn’t have is something that reflect how we are as humans. Will and Marcus had a lot to learn from each other and it’s quite important that grown-ups understands the importance of being a child.
There is also a pretty serious point of view when it comes to Marcus mother. It is quite pleasant for the reader to know that she managed but as she tried to kill herself she also broke a band of confidence to her son. The pressure for a woman who doesn’t want to be a bad mother but who can’t manage to look after her child must be huge.

Then there was this girl that Marcus felt connected to. People are angry with and want to blame all the bad things on those who don’t go with the system. Maybe they should think once again, because even if Marcus isn’t the kind of kid who would throw a stone through a window, Ellie has kind of a bad influence on him. Ellie isn’t a big villain but if she was, and if Marcus still would hang out with her, it could end up with him doing things just to impress her, who he adores.

So people can’t really blame these young criminals, because it’s the society’s fault that youngsters’ lack of self-confidence makes them hang out with bad people. It’s a responsibility that the society has, and those who know what’s right and what’s wrong, to take care of and make them feel good about themselves without proving anything. When you’re young it’s all about proving yourself, that you can make it on your own, and it isn’t always a positive thing. Sometimes we tend to forget that it’s in our nature to make mistakes, a part of our lives.



The author has a great talent in writing about those things that we treasure and recognise in our own lives. I think that there were times when the language was a bit inappropriate but I guess it was a part of the story, to describe the moment and the feelings to the reader. There were some words that I didn’t understand but when I read them again in another chapter in the book, in another context, I understood. In any case, I did write down those words I didn’t understand so I guess I learned them both in a context and word by word.

My conclusion is that it’s not always a good thing that people have to adapt to the system. It’s the way our minds work that makes us unique and claims our right to this life. I understand that it’s important to know that we have to do as we’re told and do what’s said. A part of me wants to grab my bag and leave, but I stay, because I’m told to, and I know that it’s for my own good that I study and go to school. Sometimes it’s good to limit yourself, to disregard something you want to do, because you have better things going on, leading to something that stimulates your mind more. On the other hand I think it is important to understand that we’re only here once.

It’s natural to meet misfortune with feelings of guilt and anxiety but they shouldn’t grow and govern your future life. Nobody but us can control our minds, as long as we...

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Inactive member [2006-04-03]   About a boy
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=5970 [2021-01-17]

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