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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 362

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Here are some quotes from About a Boy:

He liked women and had lots of girlfriends, but he never got too involved with them. He preferred to look at other people's lives from the outside, like watching TV.

Will's life is entirely superficial at the beginning of the novel, and he experiences life as if it were a TV show rather than an experience that involves deeper feelings and commitments.

He decided to talk to Marcus. If he made friends with Marcus, Suzie would think he was a nice guy. "So, Marcus," he said, "who's your favourite footballer?" (16)

Will decides to befriend Marcus only to seem nice to women, but his approach to Marcus is based only on pop culture. Will lacks the depth at first to connect to a 12-year-old boy.

Will could see that he'd made a big mistake about Marcus and Fiona. He couldn't do anything to help people like them. They were too weird and they felt too deeply about things. Will didn't feel deeply about anything. He couldn't imagine wanting to kill himself. He just wanted to live a long life without any problems. (26)

Will is embarrassed by the way Marcus and Fiona take life seriously and emotionally, and at first he is too distanced from his own feelings to imagine connecting with them. He finds their heart-felt approach to life embarrassing.

At Christmas, Will's dad had always got depressed and angry and drunk a lot, so it had never been a very happy time for Will. (41)

It is ironic that Will is rich because of his dad's Christmas song, as Will hates Christmas and connects it with his father's drinking and depression.

The most interesting thing about his life, Will suddenly realized, was Marcus. (45)

To get Rachel interested in him, Will brings up Marcus and makes Marcus seem like his son. Will has nothing else in his life.

Will knew then, without any doubt, that Marcus would be OK. (70)

At the end of the novel, Marcus refuses to sing Joni Mitchell songs with his mother, so Will believes that Marcus is beginning to develop his own life and identity and that Marcus will be all right.