Penguin collaborated with us for our inaugural Big Read in 2015 in producing a special edition of our chosen title About a Boy by Nick Hornby. An initial print run of 10,000 copies were ordered but with increasing demand for copies of the title, we went on to re-order a further 3,000 copies. This very special edition had the KU Big Read logo on the front and included a letter from Kingston University’s Vice Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, as well as a selection of discussion questions at the back of the book. A digital edition was also made available for those who may find reading print difficult.
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About a Boy by Nick Hornby
The coming-of-age novel, first published 17 years ago and set in 1993, tells the story of 12-year-old misfit Marcus and 36-year-old serial bachelor Will, exploring themes of growing up and learning about the adult world, as well as issues around depression, bullying and divorce.
About Nick Hornby
Nick is an English writer, essayist, screenwriter and lyricist born on 17th April 1957 in Surrey, England. His best-known books are the internationally bestselling novels High Fidelity, About A Boy, A Long Way Down and Fever Pitch; all been made into successful, and much-loved, films.
Insights from the author
Author Nick Hornby was welcomed to a packed Clattern lecture theatre when he visited the University in Welcome Week 2015. Students and staff were treated to a fascinating insight into Nick’s life and work, as well as his thoughts on About a Boy and the KU Big Read. Hornby – himself a Kingston University teaching graduate – praised the concept of using his work as a shared experience to help students settle in to university life more easily.
Read more about his visit.
"The first few weeks of university life can be a time when students can sometimes feel quite vulnerable, and one of the things the book is about is vulnerability and not feeling you belong when everyone else seems to find it effortless. Everyone reading the same book creates a common bond where one might not have existed, or certainly not so quickly."
Author Nick Hornby