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Hardcover Wonder Boys Book

ISBN: 0679415882

ISBN13: 9780679415886

Wonder Boys

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

A modern classic, now in a welcome new edition,Wonder Boysfirmly established Michael Chabon as a force to be reckoned with in American fiction. At once a deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire, this novel introduces two unforgettable characters: Grady Tripp, a former publishing prodigy now lost in a fog of pot and passion and stalled in the midst of his endless second book, and Grady's student, James...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The Right Stuff

A year or three ago I was reading a review about the new Tom Wolfe novel and I remember the writer using a football comparison. He said something to the effect that if Tom Wolfe were a professional quarterback, he'd be described as one having, "all the tools." That's the first thing I thought of when I finished this terrific novel. It doesn't miss a thing. The story is that of three days in the life of the narrator, Grady Tripp, a dope-smoking English professor at a small Pittsburgh-area college, who has had a tough time finishing the novel he's been working on for the last seven years. On this weekend he has a few other issues: his editor is coming to see him, probably for a final confrontation; his wife has finally left him; and his girlfriend has announced she's pregnant. Worse, it seems that every time he tries to come to terms with these problems, things just get more complicated. As I mentioned, this is a novel with all the tools, and if you can think of anything you like to see in a novel, this novel has it. Characters? This novel is loaded with quirky, unusual, and even oddball characters, none of whom ever strain credulity, and all of whom strike recognizable poses. Even the smaller parts are painted perfectly. For some reason the sister-in-law sticks in my mind, with her crossed eyes, her bluntness, and her inappropriate dress. She comes down the stairs to the dinner party with a "loud, syncopated clatter," as if, "a croquet ball and a grapefruit were racing each other down to the bottom." Following the narrator's description of and conversation with her, this little commentary adds a finishing splash of illumination. The larger roles are also wonderfully portrayed. There is James, the suicidal boy-genius, who begins to slowly develop an appreciation for life--incomplete by novel's end--right before our very eyes. There is the wife--Korean by birth--with her beautiful, sculpted face, who seemed so inscrutable and wise to the narrator, but who in reality was just . . . somewhat vapid. And there is the magnificently realized Crabtree, the gay, drug-ingesting editor: "Although it was only nine o'clock he had already gone around the pharmacological wheel to which he had strapped himself for the evening, stolen a tuba, and offended a transvestite; and now his companions were beginning, with delight and aplomb, to barf. It was definitely a Crabtree kind of night." Have not all of us at some point in our lives known some wild maniac like Crabtree? The narrator is also a wonderful creation and just a joy to be around. He is somewhat aware of his shortcomings--though not completely so--but is nevertheless intelligent; insightful about the writing craft and those who are part of it; unusually perceptive about those around him; and in general very, very clever. He'll give you your share of laugh-out-loud moments, but most often you'll find yourself merely smiling or chuckling at a well-turned phrase, or marvelling a

Fully Realized Characters

It is unfortunate to discover a fine novel after seeing it as a fine film. I did not know about Michael Chabon until after seeing Curtis Hanson's film adaptation of Wonder Boys (robbed of a Best Picture nomination), and did not read Wonder Boys until much later, coming across several other Chabon works first. That said, it is hard to know how I would have reacted to Wonder Boys if I did not know the story in advance. Unlike the broader Kavalier and Clay, which is in all a better book, Chabon does not slip into occasional caricature here. Yes, the "doped-up novelist with writer's block" and the "spooky, haunted young genius" are archetypes, but Chabon's Grady Tripp and James Leer come off as original inventions due to Chabon's skill with subtlety. While revealing characters through a road trip is hackneyed, it comes off better in the novel than on the screen. Chabon's uniqueness lies in his combination of the mundane and the bizarre -- well-crafted characters wandering through a strange landscape. Wonder Boys is not the choice for a reader who wants just one Chabon experience -- Mysteries of Pittsburgh is odder and funnier, and Kavalier and Clay is bigger and better. But for a Chabon fan, Wonder Boys is an excellent diversion.

A Wonder

Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon is an amazing roller coaster tale of a Professor Grady Tripp weekend. The novel is both entertaining and exhilarating yet still retains that Chabon charm that The Mysteries of Pittsburgh left me with. Chabon has a real knack for writing, he creates characters who are both quirky yet somewhat identifiable. Take Grady, a forty something, chronic head, college professor, and one time wonder boy... I felt myself feeling the man's pain. Suddenly I was getting a divorce, losing my job and impregnating my lover. I especially liked James Leer the college student, what a strange little bird! The book is a page-turner that's full of insight. Some may say it is quick read, yet I took my time to savor.

"It's No Wonder!"

I had been searching for a novel that I could completely fall head first into. Then, I found Chabon's Wonder Boys. Chabon writes with such detail and care with his characters. It is hard to not want to join the aging writer/teacher Grady Tripp, his troubled student James Leer, and his maniacal editor Terry Crabtree on their adventurous weekend together.The novel is wonderfully written, painting a detailed picture of what people look for and strive to achieve in the often-times bewildering and soul-wrenching thing we call life. Grady Tripp is one of the most carefully and painstakingly written characters to come along in quite some time. The honesty with which Chabon creates his protagonist is humourous, profound, and often times, truly full of longing. Chabon does a masterful job of inviting the reader into this bizarre world he has created. It is enticing, full of experiences paralled to Keruoac and his buddies, and at the same time, full of longing for something greater than what we have grown accustomed to.If anyone out there, is searching amist the sea of novels, looking for something to capture their attention completely, look no further than Wonder Boys. It is a marvellous work that lingers long after the final page has been read, leaking into the important thing you call your life.

Wonder Boys Mentions in Our Blog

Wonder Boys in A Celebration of National Author's Day and National Novel Writing Month
A Celebration of National Author's Day and National Novel Writing Month
Published by Karen DeGroot Carter • November 02, 2020
The intrigue around what makes novelists tick has been explored in multiple stories through the years. Check out these books and movies during NaNoWriMo (or anytime!) to enjoy unique takes on the wonder and exasperation often experienced by those who pursue the writing life.
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