About a Boy , does a credible job—perhaps too credible—as Sam, the 16-year-ol"/>


Nick Hornby, Author, Nicholas Hoult, Read by , read by Nicholas Hoult. Penguin Audio $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-14-314283-6

Hoult, who played the part of Marcus Brewer in the screen adaptation of Hornby's About a Boy , does a credible job—perhaps too credible—as Sam, the 16-year-old hero of Hornby's first YA novel. His tone is conversational, and he relates Sam's story about inadvertently getting his girlfriend pregnant, with little variation in emphasis: he's the epitome of the cool, unfazed teen even in the face of impending doom. But the combination of Hornby's authentic dialogue and Hoult's convincing reading produces some passages of teenspeak, especially between Sam and girlfriend Alicia—“Dunno/ Me neither”-type repartee—that is hard-going as entertainment. Hoult adopts a slightly deeper inflection for the part of Tony Hawk, whose poster Sam uses as a sounding board, but, comically, the quintessential California skateboarder speaks his lines (quotes from his autobiography, which Sam has memorized) with a British inflection. Overall, the audio showcases Hornby's skill at getting deeply inside the mind of his character. Sam, the most talkative teen ever to grind a skateboard, says, “Listen, I know you don't want to hear about every single little moment” and proceeds to recount every single little moment anyway. Ages 12-up. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 8). (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/26/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-3106-7
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