This boy's life : a memoir / Tobias Wolff.

By: Wolff, Tobias, 1945-
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c1989ISBN: 0871132486Subject(s): Wolff, Tobias, 1945- -- Biography | Authors, American -- 20th century -- BiographyDDC classification: 813/.54 | B
List(s) this item appears in: PHS - 11 AP - Nonfiction
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Item type Current location Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 813.54 WOL Available 674891000316774
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In this unforgettable memoir of boyhood in the 1950s, we meet the young Toby Wolff, by turns tough and vulnerable, crafty and bumbling, and ultimately winning. Separated by divorce from his father and brother, Toby and his mother are constantly on the move. Between themselves they develop an almost telepathic trust that sees them through their wanderings from Florida to a small town in Washington State. Fighting for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, Toby's growing up is at once poignant and comical. His various schemes--running away to Alaska, forging cheeks, and stealing cars--lead eventually to an act of outrageous self-invention that releases him into a new world of possibility.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

<opt> <anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">"Though some of what I describe here was difficult to live through, and difficult to relive, I have never been happier in writing a book--recalling that crazy trip across the country, hearing my beautiful mother's laughter at some ridiculous situation we found ourselves in, remembering the open-heartedness of people we met along the way, on that road and roads still ahead . . . For all this I give thanks--for friendship, for family, for narrow escapes, for good work, for the book you hold in your hands." --Tobias Wolff, from the new introduction Excerpted from This Boy's Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon> </opt>

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

Wolff shifts to nonfiction in this jewel-like memoir of childhood in the 1950's. Despite the all-American props--Boy Scouts, cars, basketball--this boyhood unfolds light-years away from suburban heaven, offering instead a divorced mother and her angry son trying with little success to cut a piece of the American pie. Wolff sets the tone right off the bat, as he and his mom, driving to Utah to strike it rich as uranium prospectors, watch a truck careen towards a fatal crash. From then on, one dark episode follows another. Wolff recalls his early years in Florida, where he shoots arrows at friends and lies in the confessional. When he and his doting mom finally settle in Seattle, he becomes a petty delinquent, shoplifting, drinking, writing bad checks, breaking windows, scrawling obscenities on walls. Some of this seems reaction against his wealthy, estranged father, now dead, about whom he feels ""grief and rage, mostly rage."" Most adults treat him shabbily--a problem accentuated when his mother links up with a man named Dwight, a Lawrence Welk freak who smells of turpentine and brutalizes Wolff into husking chestnuts until his fingers bleed. He finds some relief in the Boy Scouts, which offers ""the clean possibility of mastery""; in high school, he dreams of running away to Alaska, but instead he escapes to a prep school in Pennsylvania. An honest memoir that puts a new spin on familiar boyhood rituals: many authors have recalled watching Annette on the Mickey Mouse Club, but how many write about their buddies shouting crude sexual come-ons at the screen? Lucid, bitter, precise, terribly sad: the real-life equivalent of Wolff's acclaimed fiction. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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