Read This Boy's Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff Free Online
Book Title: This Boy's Life: A Memoir|
The author of the book: Tobias Wolff
Edition: Atlantic Monthly Press
Date of issue: 1989
ISBN 13: 9780871132482
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.24 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.2
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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 harder is that his mother makes poor choices of the men she brings into their lives. When the book opens, she’s on the road trying to run from a bad relationship, with Tobias in tow. A truck passes them; it has brake troubles. The truck crashes and burns. This is an apt metaphor for Wolff’s life as it’s related in the book. It’s listed on the cover as an autobiography, but it avoids the recitation of facts and reads like a novel.
What made Wolff’s adolescence harder was a cruel and demanding step-father. It’s been a long time since I wanted to throttle a character from a book, but Dwight, his step-father, merits these strong feelings. As someone who grew up with an abusive father, I can relate to Wolff’s struggle to maintain his “self” as an overbearing parent heartlessly heaps abuse upon abuse.
Wolff tells that when he speaks to his children in anger, he can recognize Dwight’s voice as his own. His youngest daughter, shocked by the tone of his voice, asked him if he loved her.
The book isn’t just a grim litany of bad times; Wolff relates his problems with a fair amount of wit and humor. The problems Wolff faced aren’t neatly resolved in this book either.
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Read information about the authorTobias 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.
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