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This Boy's Life

Nonfiction: Memoir / Literary
Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 07/27/2010

This Boy's Life

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781615730889
Digital Download ISBN:9781615730896


Heralded instantly upon publication by the critics, This Boy’s Life has come to be universally recognized as a true modern classic of autobiography.

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Product Description

First published in 1989, this memoir has become a classic in the genre. With this book, Wolff essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. It was made into a movie in 1993.

Fiction writer Tobias Wolff electrified critics with his scarifying 1989 memoir, which many deemed as notable for its artful structure and finely wrought prose as for the events it describes. The story is pretty grim: Teenaged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed. Deception, disguise, and illusion are the weapons the young man learns to employ as he grows up—not bad training for a writer-to-be. Somber though this tale of family strife is, it is also darkly funny and so artistically satisfying that listeners come away exhilarated.


“Wyman collapses the distance between himself and the book’s narrator, so that we eventually come to mistake him for Wolff’s Toby.”
      —Publishers Weekly

“Wyman’s reading is believable and often touching.”

This Boy’s Life is as fine as any of Wolff’s novels. It is honest and pure, without a trace of self-pity.”
      —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A coming-of-age-with-pluck remembrance that is heartwarming and heartbreaking, deadly funny, deeply serious, achingly real.”
      —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“A work of genuine literary art . . . as grim and eerie as Great Expectations, as surreal and cruel as The Painted Bird, as comic and transcendent as Huckleberry Finn.”
      —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“So absolutely clear and hypnotic . . . that a reader wants to take it apart and find some simple way to describe why it works so beautifully.”
      —The New York Times

“[This] extraordinary new memoir is so beautifully written that we not only root for the kid Wolff remembers, but we also are moved by the universality of his experience.”
      —San Francisco Chronicle

“Wolff’s genius is in his fine storytelling. This Boy’s Life reads and entertains as easily as a novel. Wolff’s writing and timing are superb, as are his depictions of those of us who endured the ’50s.”
      —The Oregonian

“Consistently entertaining—richer, darker, and funnier than anything else Tobias Wolff has written.”
      —The New York Times Book Review

“Wolf writes in language that is lyrical without embellishment, defines his characters with exact strokes and perfectly pitched voices, creates suspense around ordinary events, locating deep mystery within them. . . . To the rich fiction of childhood that ranges from Huckleberry Finn to Catcher in the Rye, Wolff has contributed his superb memoir.”
      —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A finely composed and fastidiously voiced recollection of a troubled adolescence.”
      —The New Yorker

“What emerges from this memoir is an absorbing story of a boy we are glad to have met, and a man whose next book we eagerly await.”
      —The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Wonderfully funny ...What a fine story.”
      —Richard Russo, The Chicago Tribune

      —Time magazine

“At once compassionate and deeply disturbing . . . ”
      —The New York Times Magazine

“Some of [Wolff’s] brattish misdeeds are funny, some are pathetic, and all are amazing, because it seems so unlikely that the bewildered juvenile nuisance was to become the excellent writer he is.”
      —The Atlantic Monthly

“A jewel-like memoir of childhood in the 1950s . . . Lucid, bitter, precise, terribly sad: the real-life equivalent of Wolff’s acclaimed fiction.”

Author Bio

TOBIAS WOLFF was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1945. He is the author of several works, including In Pharaoh’s Army, a finalist for the National Book Award, and the novel, The Barracks Thief, which won the 1985 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.