Book Reviews of This Boys Life

This Boys Life
This Boys Life
Author: Tobias Wolff
ISBN-13: 9780871132482
ISBN-10: 0871132486
Publication Date: 12/1988
Pages: 288
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

15 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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Helpful Score: 3
This boys Life is the story of Tobias Wolff's childhood. When his parents separated, he lived with his mother while his brother went to live with their wealthy father(a child support deadbeat). Tobias Wolff's mother struggled with earning a living and got mixed up with various abusive men. It would be interesting to read this book along with Tobias Wolff's brother's memoir and contrast them for a book club. It is called the Duke of Deception by Geoffry Wolff.
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Helpful Score: 1
i had to read this book for my college english course. It was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be and honestly I couldn't put it down. It wasn't just a "chore" for school to read. :D
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The summary set out above here at PBS is a lot more positive than the book.
reviewed This Boys Life on
Good writing style, not an amazing memoir from my point of view. But a lot of people in my book club LOVED it! Happy Reading!
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Very good book. Made into a very good movie also.
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A very interesting memoir about a young man growing up in the northwest.
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This book tells the story of Toby Wolff, who calls himself Jack throughout the story due to an incident involving a girl named Toby in his class. He decides that since he and his mom are traveling across the country to start a new life together, he might as well start over with a new name. Wolff details what life was like living with a young, pretty mother who doesn't seem to want to settle down, though when she does settle into relationships, they are usually abusive in nature, either mentally or physically. Wolff paints his adolescent and teen years rather vividly, and shows the confusion that he faced in who he felt he was versus who everyone else saw when they looked at him versus who he wanted the world to see. For much of this time, Wolff is a very troubled young man and constantly seemed to get into trouble (attempts to run away, stealing, forging various documents to fit his needs, etc). I had a hard time liking Wolff for some of the things that he did, particularly when he fell in with bad company, but it was evident that he really cared for his mother and wanted to help protect her whenever he could. Still, it was an interesting and rather quick read.
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I thourougly enjoyed this book. Wolff has incredible descriptive powers. The events of his life jump off the page. Funny, poignant and startling. It reads like a fine novel. He leaves you hungry for more.
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Great book. Sometimes heart-wrenching to read. Wolff is a master.
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While you have sympathy for the main character having to put up with lousy father, mothers loser boyfriends and a whacko stepfather, it is hard to like the main character and thus I found myself reading along thinking 'well what will the troubled brat do next?' Hard to say you liked the book if that's all you got out of it. It certainly wasn't any walk down memory lane into the 1950's.
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Memoir of a boy in the 1950's. Separated by divorce from his father and brother, Toby and his mother are constantly on the move. As he fights for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, his experiences are at once poignant and comical, and Wolff masterfully re-creates the frustrations, cruelties, and joys of adolescence.
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M rich better than the movie, a more nuanced view of his adolescence (well, books almost always do that). His final page is one of the best endings I have ever read.
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WOW!! How many stars are in the sky? That is just how many stars I give this 'work of art"..To be honest, I have been on the computer, longingly seeking for another story of a boys life such as this!! AND, I have queded up the major motion picture starring Robert DiNero entitled the very same as the book! Yippee!! I am reposting this book, simply because I do not think I will ever forget one word of it, and like most of you, have hundreds of books and no room for them all.This is your chance to read a delightfully written , true account of a very poor, and highly intelligent young boy, whose parents break up, and she marries a rough, drinking guy, who put on a façade before he married her.The new 'dad" hated Tobias..I laughed my head off last night in my room..and really hated to see this book end.This is my new favorite author, I feel like his book is in my heart now too!! You will love this story!!He rises up from ubscurity to become a teacher at Syracuse University.
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Good book, not great, but good.
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From back cover: "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."