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This Boy's Life : Bloomsbury Classic Series - Tobias Wolff

This Boy's Life

Bloomsbury Classic Series


Published: 19th August 1999
In Stock. Ships in 1-2 business days from Australia
RRP $24.99

At just ten years old, Tobias Wolff is reluctantly on the road. His restless, spirited mother is desperate to build a life for them both, but Tobias is struggling with this ever-changing routine. When they finally reach Utah, he decides to change his name to Jack, after his hero Jack London, because he longs for adventure and to start afresh. This Boy's Life traces Jack's experiences growing up against the background of a violent and wildly optimistic America.



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This Boy's Life

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Loved the movie, loved the book


from Sydney

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer


  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Travel Reading

    Comments about This Boy's Life:

    I can dip in and out of it

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    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. (Kirkus Reviews)

    ISBN: 9780747546016
    ISBN-10: 0747546010
    Series: Bloomsbury Classic Series
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 256
    Published: 19th August 1999
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
    Country of Publication: GB
    Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.4  x 1.7
    Weight (kg): 0.24
    Edition Number: 1
    Edition Type: New edition