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This Boy's Life (Anglais) Broché – 19 août 1999

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This Boy's Life A memoir of a young boy's unusual travels with his mother. The author recreates his boyhood experiences, relating how he and his mother travelled throughout the United States, and tracing his experiences and changes from young boy to manhood against the background of a violent and wildly optimistic America. Full description

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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An exciting, empathetic tale of redemption 1 janvier 2014
Par Bstrassell0001 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Have you ever noticed how, in the bleakest of controversies, there is, most of the time, a great hero waiting at the light of the end of the tunnel?

This Boy's Life is exactly that: a story of a "Prodigal Son" who, after causing much harm to the society around him--with much harm having been done to him--not only became a better man, but also met a better life with his changed, saved heart from above!

I'll compare the novel version of This Boy's Life to the 1993 film adaptation, starring young adult Leonardo DiCaprio as the book's author, Tobias "Toby" Wolff, a literature professor and, in addition, author of many other books and short stories. I saw the film before I read the book, which made both easier to understand, and I'll make sure I don't spoil anything for you!

In This Boy's Life, we not only see most of the same scenarios presented in the film, but many "in-between" stories as well, not present for the film: Tobias Wolff's Catholic upbringing, and the impact it had in eventually reforming Mr. Wolff, after he had traded in his religion (not officially, but by means of being a non-practicing Catholic) for popularity--and authority--among his classmates and "friends": some of whom remained true to the end, and others of whom didn't. We learn more detail of his mother Rosemary's relationship with her stalkerish boyfriend Roy--how the relationship began, how it ended, and the details behind the chemistry Ellen Barkin and Chris Cooper shared onscreen: chemistry that was very profound on behalf of the two actors, but partially incomplete when it comes to restriction in detail that film knows, which literature doesn't. As Mr. Wolff reveals, his parents were divorced at a very young age, and his childhood was by no means easy, only getting to speak with his father and brother Geoffrey on very rare occasions (more as he became an adult) and dealing with the most mentally unstable father figures around him, including Roy and, more notably, Dwight: the monster Robert De Niro recreated for us on the big screen with his "tough guy" looks and personality, previously revealed beforehand in films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and much, much more.

And it is in the telling of young Mr. Wolff's and Rosemary's relationships with Dwight that make This Boy's Life a page-turner--hard to put down when you have work to do and impatient to get back to when you're reading a part of the book that does not at all talk about Dwight. For me, the secret to this enjoyment was thinking of the DiCaprio-De Niro chemistry as Wolff-Dwight, and remembering what they have in common: they are both, next to Harvey Keitel, the most frequent moles of Martin Scorsese! Yet, their characters are completely different from one another--the former of which was not yet true of DiCaprio when the book and film were released.

I give accolades to Tobias Wolff for the simple fact that, as the author, he makes the "two sides of the story" between himself and Dwight clearly and perfectly known. Dwight was, by no means, a man who deserved the benefit of the doubt: his ways of correction were very evil, as Mr. Wolff reveals in profound detail. However, Wolff himself was in need of correction, as a so-called "juvenile delinquent," and it is this so-called truth which makes the details of Wolff's relationship with Dwight so fascinating to read: we know both men were wrong, yet we're on Wolff's side--we empathize with him, because we were (or are) young and know what it means to succumb to peer pressure--and we know that, underneath it all, Wolff had a truly good heart, even if it was not necessarily applied. We all know who the hero turns out to be, which another plus to the true story is, and so we can enjoy without feeling guilty: we all know how it ended and, as one of my favorite Christian authors, Randy Alcorn, has said; the conflict we avoid in life is the same conflict we enjoy in story! Yes, in This Boy's Life; Tobias Wolff owns up to all his faults as a youth; and not only gives us a more honest picture of himself, but also a more honest picture of Dwight: a man who had a good intention in wanting to correct a young "juvenile delinquent," but went about it the completely wrong way, using passive aggression and even physical abuse to correct. Once in my life, I was a troublemaker teen, and I saw the same kind of "correction" from my own stepparent. For those of you who have been in the same boat with me, you know how it feels, and it is that same redemption--as well as hope--that prevails in This Boy's Life.

I highly encourage you to pay close attention to the differences between how Tobias Wolff portrays his mother Rosemary, and how Ellen Barkin--at the screenwriting of Robert Getchell and direction of Michael Caton-Jones--portrayed her. I'll put in a fun fact to paint the picture I want to give you: before Ms. Barkin was signed onto play Caroline, Debra Winger originally had the part! If you've ***seen*** This Boy's Life, you remember how submissive Caroline was to Dwight, which makes it incredibly hard not to laugh at the idea of an actress outspoken as Ms. Winger portraying her: and to an actor outspoken as Robert De Niro! As Tobias Wolff himself presents, however, Rosemary, while submissive, was also quick to stand up for her young son Tobias (referred to as Toby), even if not all the time. Rosemary is another hero of This Boy's Life, and if you enter into the novel with the same foreknowledge I had before even entering into the film, I think you'll have fun comparing the two Caroline's we meet, one in literature and one in film.

For those of you who yearn for a better life, and those of you who have already been given a better life (past the one you previously had), This Boy's Life is a book to read and to remember.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An open honest look at the early life of a great writer. Elegant in its simplicity and moving in its raw sincerity. Well worth 30 septembre 2016
Par Angie B. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This book provides a wealth of information about the early life of the author. He is open, honest and straightforward about his struggles and his achievements, as well as the actions for which he has remorse. The only reason I cave 4 instead of 5 stars, is that although he does an exemplary job of fleshing out a portrait of his younger self, he leaves the other characters in his life story lacking depth and nuance. All in all, I enjoyed this book and would say that it is well worth the read.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Wolff in Boy's Clothing 18 novembre 2012
Par Il'ja Rákoš - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Tobias Wolff is sure that "everything was going to change when we got out West." And so the boy tags along on the peregrinations of his adventuresome mother. Her intention is to find peace within herself, and a place for herself and her son within a wider world equally intent on allowing them anything but that.

Autobiographical, gritty realism, and wonderful story-telling. Lacks the bravado, the self-importance, and the claustrophobia of the usual coming-of-age novel. Spare, naive, irreverent, haunting: the devastatingly lonely, yet hopeful, journey of a boy on the road to becoming a man, even if accidentally.

This was my first book by Wolff. He now has five on my shelf.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic storytelling 23 décembre 2013
Par Rand McGreal - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The true story of the life of a teenage boy growing up with an alcoholic father. The brilliance of this work is not the story which unfortunately is far too common. It is the artistry of the writer. Using sparse language and all the sentence structure skills of a master, Tobias takes the reader into the world of a fourteen year old. This is a book every other writer should read and digest to learn the technique of writing. Plot pace and direction move in sync with the young man's growth and awreness. Everything passes by the stream of the narrative like willows hanging over the river of life. Well told.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you've seen the movie, the book is a bit better 13 novembre 2014
Par Wilson Pupps - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I saw the movie first with Robert De Niro some time ago- actually own it on DVD now and watch from time to time. I always meant to read the book and finally ordered it the other day. One of the things that caught my interest was the use of the term "sissy" in the movie. I spent the better part of my youth throwing this word around as insult. Hearing it in the film made me nostalgic for the days spent on the grade school playground being mean to other kids and other kids being mean to me and so I figured I would love the book. I was right. Reading this book is like reminiscing and laughing with good friends about childhood stories of when we did horrible things and/or endured horrible things. I am sure Wolff had a ball writing this memoir and hopefully you will have a ball reading it. I know I did.
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