This Boy's Life

This Boy s Life This unforgettable memoir by one of our most gifted writers introduces us to the young Toby Wolff by turns tough and vulnerable crafty and bumbling and ultimately winning Separated by divorce fro

  • Title: This Boy's Life
  • Author: Tobias Wolff
  • ISBN: 9780802136688
  • Page: 165
  • Format: Paperback
  • This unforgettable memoir, by one of our most gifted writers, introduces us to 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, yet they develop an extraordinarily close, almost telepathic relationship As Toby fights for identiThis unforgettable memoir, by one of our most gifted writers, introduces us to 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, yet they develop an extraordinarily close, almost telepathic relationship As Toby fights for identity and self respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, his experiences are at once poignant and comical, and Wolff does a masterful job of re creating the frustrations and cruelties of adolescence His various schemes running away to Alaska, forging checks, and stealing cars lead eventually to an act of outrageous self invention that releases him into a new world of possibility.

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      Published :2020-06-24T00:21:36+00:00

    About “Tobias Wolff

    • Tobias Wolff

      Tobias Jonathan Ansell Wolff is a writer of fiction and nonfiction.He is best known for his short stories and his memoirs, although he has written two novels.Wolff is the Ward W and Priscilla B Woods Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, where he has taught classes in English and creative writing since 1997 He also served as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford from 2000 to 2002.

    668 thoughts on “This Boy's Life

    • Part of moving from being a teenager to a functional adult is seeking your own identity outside of what friends and family think of you. Tobias Wolff’s struggle with this is in part what makes this book such a great read. Although he grew up in 1950’s Washington state and his life experiences are somewhat different from mine, it’s the core of feelings of being a teenager that never change and are the same no matter what your circumstances.Part of what makes Wolff’s struggle that much har [...]

    • I don't know if I've been specifically targeting good reads subconsciously or if I've just been lucky that they're falling into my lap. Regardless, the kinda funny, a little sad, quite insightful This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff struck the old chord with me and continued that trend. Long may it last!As a somewhat rudderless boy myself I enjoyed this story of a somewhat rudderless boy growing up with only a transient mother and the occasional uncaring, abusive stepfather. This is a fairly typical [...]

    • Life is a turkey shootYeah, you know, sometimes you shoot so well and win the turkey, sometimes you lose, and sometimes there isn't even any turkey. You could try to be honest and keep your nose clean, but it doesn't guarantee anything. A screwed-up kid who lies, cheats, forges documents, drinks, and steals, not to mention damaging property, gets kicked out of schools, but winds up with a degree from Oxford, a nationally-famous writer and professor at one of the best universities. He writes clea [...]

    • Find all of my reviews at: 52bookminimum/I read this book almost two months ago and have struggled to come up with some kind (any kind) of review. Sometimes when I read a memoir I’m struck with the question “what made this person think their personal history was novel worthy?” Such is the case with This Boy’s Life. Sure Tobias Wolf had a shitty childhood, but when compared to other autobiographies (Night stands out as the most monumental personal history I can think of, or even The Glass [...]

    • DNFI read just over half before calling it quits.Toby’s life really wasn’t as bad as I expected. Whether or not that’s because of the way he tells his story, I’m not sure. It was flat and lacked feeling; very matter-of-fact.The narrative itself seemed endless. It’s dreary, slow and boring. It also jumps around at times, enough to be confusing.All this was bad enough, but I soldiered valiantly onwardsuntil it came to Toby beating the family dog with a floor mop. A hunting dog that hid i [...]

    • This Boy's Life is a memoir about the author Tobias Wolff. Although, for most of this book he picks a different name-- Jack. I immediately got swept up in the life of Jack and his mother as they leave place after place, boyfriend after boyfriend. We start as they leave from Florida to head to Utah and we quickly understand the instability of Jack's life. Eventually she re-marries a crazy man named Dwight, who constantly is on some power trip and takes control of Jack's life. That is, until he ta [...]

    • “Knowing that everything comes to an end is a gift of experience, a consolation gift for knowing that we ourselves are coming to an end.""Before we get it we live in a continuous present, and imagine the future as more of that present. Happiness is endless happiness, innocent of its own sure passing. Pain is endless pain.” ― Tobias Wolff, This Boy's LifeOne of my favorite memoirs of all time. IT was perfect in its pacing, its pitch. It was a beautiful, but unsentimental look at youth, pove [...]

    • I can't very well articulate why this book elicited a 5 star response from me, which is why I enjoyed it so much. Despite not being able to put my finger on it, I found myself wanting to get back to it all the time.Not a reaction I typically have to memoirs by established authors.He spoke in away that maintained the feel of adolescence without condescending hindsight or grandiose naivety. The writing seems so simple and concise and yet there were numerous times when I had to fight my urge to und [...]

    • I saw the movie with Leo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro many years before reading this book. I loved the film and I also think it does justice to this fine book. Very poignant and engaging throughout. THIS BOY'S LIFE is an excellent read.

    • En Vida de este chico, Tobias Wolff nos deja entrar en ciertas impresiones sobre su infancia y adolescencia.Lejos de los áticos del Upper East Side, del footing matutino por Central Park, de los brunchs exclusivos de fin de semana de las chicas de Sex and the City en los que se dan encuentros de conversaciones banales en los que se comenta la adquisición de los últimos “Manolos” (zapatos de tacón imposible de Manolo Blahnik –aclaración para los no entendidos en la materia-) y se habla [...]

    • Tobias Wolff was a professor at Stanford. He was my friend Laurel's Italian partner. His friends called him Toby. He scared the bejesus outta me. This is technically unfair, as I never once spoke to him or took one of his classes. I think it was the mustache that did it. It was a very intimidating mustache.Of course, none of this has anything to do with the book, which I loved. I just thought you'd like to know.

    • This memoir would be overwhelmingly sad for me, had I not already read Old School by the same author and know that he becomes a successful author and teacher of literature at Stanford. But if you didn’t know that this child redeems himself in the end, this would be sad, a sad tale indeed.Tobias’ parents divorced when he was a young boy, and his mother set off looking for a better life, leaving her oldest son with her ex-husband. In 1955 it was hard for a single mother, and life treated Tobia [...]

    • Read this back in 2003, remembered it fondly but 4 stars since I somehow don't remember the plot very well. The movie ahead of the reading poisoned it somewhat methinks.

    • This is a very emotional and touching tale about a young boy growing up with a hopeless mother and an abusive step-father. The author describes his childhood in ways that almost anyone can relate to. While you can feel the angst of the writer's plight, you can also laugh you tits off at the hilarity he chooses to make out of it in his later and wiser years. It's impressive that this juvenile delinquent turned out to be such a famous writer. This novel was not only well written, it was a funny an [...]

    • Tobias Wolff is a man known to those who love short stories as something of a master of the form. His novel, Old School failed to capitalize on his brilliance of the short form, so I must admit to some qualms about his memoir. I couldn't have been more wrong. Wolff analyses his upbringing with the clarity of an outsider, giving us insight into his deeds and (more frequently) misdeeds. From constant travels with his single mother escaping a bad relationship to an abusive step father, from mocking [...]

    • 3.5 stars. It was an interesting and well written memoir. It's funny how listening to another's life experiences make you think about your own experiences and those of others. My dad is a few years older than Tobias and some of the things Tobias wrote about mirrors stories my dad has told about times spent with his friends when he was a boy and teen. Now I'm I'll have to check out the movie adaptation that stars a very young Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro.

    • The four best memoirs I have ever read, and I have read too many, are Frank McCort’s, Angela’s Ashes, “Tobias Wolff’s, “This Boy’s Life,” Geoffrey Wolff’s, “The Duke of Deception,” and Jeanette Walls, “The Glass Castle.”These books are similar in describing horrendous childhood’s of upheaval and instability, complicated by mentally ill, vagabond, eccentric parents, and a sort of lower middle class poverty. (I know that’s an oxymoron, read the books and you’ll unders [...]

    • I had to read this for school . . . it was an intriguing memoir to read. That being said I FINALLY FINISHED IT!!!!! YAY!2.5 stars

    • To write a memoir is to sift through and make sense one's personal experience that were laid down in our heads when we were much younger, then arrange them into a compelling and comprehensible story. Reframing is necessary because the writer has matured. The eyes behind the pen are not the eyes that witnessed what is being written. This book is a mature and evolved retrospective about coming of age in the American 1950-60s.It's a good book that I appreciated more fully after I saw the movie (Rob [...]

    • I was struck reading other reviews of this book that many stated that it read so well it could have been a novel and not a memoir. What struck me also was that he chose some incidents that showed him in an awful light, beating a poor frightened dog with a mop, being one of them. However, Wolff is such a good writer I didn't care how many dogs he beat. The voice in the book carried me through the relative mundane, rainy, overcast world of a grim childhood in the gloom of Washington State. The loc [...]

    • Having just finished The Night in Question, I was looking forward to reading this. Though a memoir (not my usual choice) that is based on Wolff's childhood as opposed to a collection of short stories, I still had high hopes.It was okay. The writing was strong and the author consistently provided lots of interesting insight about life in general, however, I just never really got into the story. The character I found most intriguing, his mother, a complex dichotomy whom Wolff describes as strong a [...]

    • Honestly, I hated most of this book. The only parts that i enjoyed were when the book talked about the brothers truck and when the main character fights with his friend in the gym. What i didn't enjoy about the book was that it took so long to get into tthe story, and then you never really feel like you quite understand whats going on in it. I would recommend this to anyone who really just want to have a bad time reading a book. But if you like this book, I recommend Into the Woods because I fel [...]

    • Exquisitely written, desperately honest memoir that was incredibly difficult to read. I had to keep walking away, but I kept coming back for more. I am coming away from this wanting to read every word Wolff ever wrote, right away. He's so penetratingly analytical, so able to distance himself from his adolescent pretensions without disavowing the, so incisive and so true. He broke my heart, over and over and over. The prose is knife-like, crystalline and icy. I recommend it.

    • The opening acknowledgements had me thinking this would be a breezy comic memoir ("My first stepfather used to say that what I didn’t know would fill a book. Well, here it is.") It's very funny and moves well throughout but to say it's breezy is a gross mischaracterization.The book takes its title from an adaptation of the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America (Boy's Life), one of the seemingly few positive influences on the author when he was younger (i.e. the Scouts, not the magazin [...]

    • In a time when conversations about creative nonfiction are preoccupied by concerns of truth in memoir, the nature of consciousness, identity, and fragmentation, it can be easy to forget about fundamentals like story. Important in and of themselves, these big conversations signal that a necessary codification of the genre has emerged and continues to grow. But the meta conversations can get tedious, grandiose, even absurd, and sometimes we need to remember that readers come for the story and stay [...]

    • Wolff is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers, having read a novel, a novella, a short story collection, and now a memoir. And man, he can write in any form, and better than most anyone else. Reading this after reading Old School, Wolff's novel about a prep school boy competing with his classmates to win private audiences with their literary heroes, you can see where some of the inspiration was drawn. The narrator in Old School is undoubtedly modeled somewhat after Wolff's own experiences [...]

    • Wolff’s memoir of his nomadic, fatherless childhood searching for an identity and a future is hypnotically engaging. In search of wealth and the right man, his divorced mother moved Toby, who renamed himself Jack, from Florida to Utah to Washington State, where she married Dwight, definitely the wrong man, especially for Jack. "I was bound to accept as my home a place I did not feel at home in,” he writes, “and to take as my father a man who was offended by my existence and would never sto [...]

    • Wow, I loved this one. I had been familiar with a few of Wolff's short stories (Bullet in the Brain is one of my all time favorites) but this is the first of his longer works that I had read. I felt it described the awkwardness, anxiety and tragic passivity of boyhood perfectly. I reltated to it on so many levels even though I grew up in a different place and time and had a completely different personality than the main character of the book.It is a dark book, however. Which is something I might [...]

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