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Old School
Old School
Author: Tobias Wolff
Tobias Wolff's Old School is at once a celebration of literature and delicate hymn to a lost innocence of American life and art. Set in a New England prep school in the early 1960s, the novel imagines a final, pastoral moment before the explosion of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the suicide...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780965915175
ISBN-10: 0965915174
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 195
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.

3.2 stars, based on 13 ratings
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Book Type: Paperback
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I liked this book. It seemed to me to be a series of short stories about a boy growing into a man. The boy is the same individual throughout the chapters with very different experiences. He tells all the stories. When he uses another's story in a senior writing competition for Ernest Hemingway he wins but is expelled from school. The master who drives him to the train station tries to tell him that he will recover from this incident but doesn't quite know how to tell him so. Life brings other experiences and the young man becomes the writer he wanted to be but finds it difficult to reconcile this experience in light of his success. The last story about the former dean returning after resigning is my favorite tale. It seems disconnected to the rest of the book but I loved it. The connection is that the former master who drove him to the train station is telling him the former dean's story. This read helps one understand the pressures of writing competition in a boys school. In addition, the book is a maturing of one individual writer. There is much about the idolizing of famous writers and the mimicking of their work. As I read it I thought about a story I wrote in college about a green plaid dress. My mother had a habit of dressing my sister and I alike and I hated that dress because of it. When the assignment came I decided to convince the teacher that I loved the dress. It worked. I couldn't help wondering how much of this book is turned about in the same way.