This Boy's Life | Critical Review by Richard Eder

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of This Boy's Life.
This section contains 1,275 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Richard Eder

Critical Review by Richard Eder

SOURCE: Eder, Richard. “The Boy Lost, the Writer Found.” Los Angeles Times Book Review (8 January 1989): 3, 6.

In the following review, Eder discusses Wolff's childhood and argues that, as a memoir, This Boy's Life is both artful and courageous.

“The first thing in life is to assume a pose. What the second is, no one has yet discovered.”

Oscar Wilde's remark is the epigraph to Tobias Wolff's memoir of growing up. On the surface, it is a suitable choice. Wolff masked and masqueraded his way through a childhood and adolescence that might otherwise have unhinged him.

More deeply, though, it is the opposite of suitable: and far better. This Boy's Life does not consort with its Wildean epigram: it wrenches it apart.

Wolff is the author of artful and highly crafted stories. The art...

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This section contains 1,275 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Richard Eder