Wonder Boys
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A deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire, WONDER BOYS is a modern classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of THE ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY. Grady Tripp is an over-sexed, pot-bellied, pot-smoking, ageing wunderkind of a novelist now teaching creative writing at a Pittsburgh college while working on his 2,000-page masterpiece, WONDER BOYS. When his rumbustious editor and friend, Terry Crabtree, arrives in town, a chaotic weekend follows - involving a tuba, a dead dog, Marilyn Monroe's ermine-lined jacket and a squashed boa constrictor. A novel of elegant imagination, bold humour and undeniable warmth, WONDER BOYS firmly established Michael Chabon as a force to be reckoned with in American fiction.

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  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • 28 Mar 1996
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • FOURTH ESTATE LTD
  • London
  • English
  • 1857024052
  • 9781857024050
  • 28,202

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Author Information

Michael Chabon is the author of two collections of short stories, 'A Model World' and 'Werewolves in their Youth', the novels 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh', 'Wonder Boys', 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay', 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' and 'Telegraph Avenue', and the non-fiction books 'Maps and Legends and Manhood for Amateurs'. 'Wonder Boys' has been made into a film starring Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr. and 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, Esquire and Playboy. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and their four children.

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Review quote

'The natural exuberance and extravagance of Chabon's writing is matched by dazzling wit.' Sunday Telegraph 'A deliriously funny novel...Chabon's elegant style, perfectly realised characters and comic vision combine to make the most enjoyable novel of the year.' Esquire 'A wonderfully teasing comic novel...Chabon juggles all these preoccupations with a quirky deftness he employs in his first novel.' Independent '"Wonder Boys" is a superb creation, a raucously comic yet deeply lyrical work. Chabon has evolved into a seriously funny writer, a master of the comic set-up.' Sunday Times

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Review text

Himself a former wonder boy, Chabon (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, 1988, etc.) realizes his obvious talents with this mature and hilarious novel. Writing about a struggling writer is usually a recipe for disaster, but in the acerbic voice of his narrator, Grady Tripp, Chabon has found a fabulously plush vehicle in which to romp. Tripp has published a few moderately successful novels, but he's bogged down teaching at a small Pittsburgh college and smokes so much pot that he can't seem to wrap up his magnum opus, a 2,000-plus-page novel called The Wonder Boys. Like many an author, Tripp suffers from immaturity and a need for immediate gratification; when there comes a time for adult, well-thought-out decisions, he usually opts for the choice that will make his life a mess, thus providing new material for his autobiographical fiction. During the weekend of Wordfest, the college's annual literary gathering, Tripp's best friend, Terry Crabtree - who is also his editor - comes to town to spread chaos. Crabtree begins by picking up a transvestite and a tuba at the airport, and before long he and Tripp are enmeshed in an elaborate plot that includes the accidental death of an Alaskan malamute (beloved pet of Sara Gaskell, the college chancellor and Tripp's lover), a stolen Galaxie 500, and the eventual disillusionment of Sara; Tripp's estranged wife, Emily; and all his favorite students. By the end of the weekend Tripp is in danger of having nothing left of his life but a pilfered tuba. Part Hunter Thompson, part early John Irving, Chabon's rich, evocative writing is strong and confident throughout. His wry, vulnerable wit probes the psychological landscapes of his wonderful characters, and his sparkling prose pulls the madcap stoW along so quickly that when the novel ends, you wish it was as endless as his hero's saga. Funny and wise, not to mention a great read. (Kirkus Reviews)

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