Saturday, February 13, 2010

A few days ago, I finished Old School, a novel by Tobias Wolff.

Tobias Wolff is also the author of one of my favourite books, This Boy's Life.  That book is an actual memoir and, while this book is not literal memoir, it feels like one.  The protagonist has things in common with the author - being a poorer kid attending an elite prep school, leaving during senior year, and serving in Vietnam - but it is not actually Wolff's life.

The book feels very episodic, based around the visits of three authors: Robert Frost, Ayn Rand and Ernest Hemingway.  The students at the prep school get a chance to meet privately with the authors if their stories are contest winners.  The protagonist tries for all three prizes but gets foiled along the way.

An OK, but very slight book.  Nowhere near as powerful as his actual memoir.

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