Old School

Old School

Book - 2003
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Random House, Inc.
The protagonist of Tobias Wolff’s shrewdly—and at times devastatingly—observed first novel is a boy at an elite prep school in 1960. He is an outsider who has learned to mimic the negligent manner of his more privileged classmates. Like many of them, he wants more than anything on earth to become a writer. But to do that he must first learn to tell the truth about himself.

The agency of revelation is the school literary contest, whose winner will be awarded an audience with the most legendary writer of his time. As the fever of competition infects the boy and his classmates, fraying alliances, exposing weaknesses, Old School explores the ensuing deceptions and betrayals with an unblinking eye and a bottomless store of empathy. The result is further evidence that Wolff is an authentic American master.

Baker & Taylor
During his senior year at an elite New England prep school, a young man who had struggled to fit in with his contemporaries finds his life unraveling due to the school's obsession with literary figures and their work.

Baker
& Taylor

During his senior year at an elite New England prep school, a young man who had struggled to find it with his contemporaries finds his life unraveling thanks to the school's obsession with literary figures and their work during a visit from an author for whose blessing a young writer would do almost anything. By the author of This Boy's Life. A first novel. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2003
Edition: 1st ed
Series:
ISBN: 9780375701498
0375701494
9780375401466
0375401466
Branch Call Number: F WOL
Characteristics: 195 p. ; 24 cm

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susanchyn
May 19, 2016

Tobias Wolff's literary gifts are many-- he peels layer after layer off his characters' psyches. And he does so with warmth and wit.

Structurally, the novel is flawed. It starts well, builds nicely to climax and then, somehow gets weird. The writing style changes. The voice changes. Readers are tossed into an alternate universe.

In the final few pages, there is some literary triage, but the damage is already done.

Turns out this novel began as three short stories. I guess two melded seamlessly and the other did not.

m
msemos
Nov 01, 2015

well written. I got it to read the chapter on any rand's visit to his school. it rings true and gives a fascinating portrait of this woman and her egotism

m
Minnetonka_Library
Jan 23, 2010

Tobias Wolff is best known for his short stories. The ending of this novel is out of this world.

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