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Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
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Wonder Boys (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Michael Chabon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,473731,531 (3.94)118
Member:twopairsofglasses
Title:Wonder Boys
Authors:Michael Chabon
Info:Wheeler Pub Inc (1995), Hardcover, 415 pages
Collections:Your library
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Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon (1995)

  1. 20
    Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (browner56)
    browner56: Both books are often hilarious and great examples of the Campus Novel.
  2. 10
    The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (zhejw)
    zhejw: Both books are set in academia, are nicely plotted, and approach themes of male friendship, literature, and sexuality with humor.
  3. 10
    Changing Places by David Lodge (yokai)
  4. 10
    White Noise by Don DeLillo (igorken)
  5. 00
    Blue Angel by Francine Prose (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both campus novels about writer-professors. Both darkly funny.
  6. 02
    Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (yokai)
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» See also 118 mentions

English (68)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Chabon writes like a handful of drugs. And gives the reader a hangover.

But every writer one day must record the night terrors: writing courses, workshops, editors, seminars, and the novel that won't finish. Along with the effluvia of life: ex-wives, dead dogs, Passover, pregnancy, transvestites, and young writer-groupies. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
This is one of my favorite books because of 1) the cast of characters, all of whom I love desperately, 2) the humor, which often made me laugh out loud to the point that strangers shot me the evil eye, 3) the masterful dialogue that made me want to meet these people in the real world. Grady's not the most likeable kind of guy, desperate and melancholy, but Chabon manages to make his imperfection endearing in a lot of ways. There's complexity here that I enjoy and admire, and I see new layers each time I read it. ( )
  lefaulkenberry | Jul 27, 2016 |
Pittsburgh professor and author Grady Tripp is working on an unwieldy 2,611 page manuscript that is meant to be the follow-up to his successful, award-winning novel The Land Downstairs, that was published seven years earlier. On the eve of a college-sponsored writers and publishers weekend called WordFest, two monumental things happen to Tripp: his wife walks out on him, and he learns that his mistress, who is also the chancellor of the college, Sara Gaskell, is pregnant with his child. To top it all off, Tripp finds himself involved in a bizarre crime involving one of his students, an alienated young writer named James Leer. During a party, Leer shoots and kills the chancellor’s dog and steals her husband’s prized Marilyn Monroe collectible: the jacket worn by the actress on her wedding day to Joe DiMaggio.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
This is one of those books in which I experienced the movie first. In fact, I don't think I was even aware of the book before seeing "based on" in the film's credits. Picked up the book at a used/wholesale book store some time afterwards, and have been sitting on it since. As I am currently trying my best to focus on my many owned but unread books, figured it was past time to give this one a go.

And I enjoyed it as much as I did the movie. There is something, to me, about reading about other writers and their struggles, be they real or fictional. When dealing with my own perceived inadequacies, it's nice to know that other writers go through that as well. There are times I feel like I should just let go of some of my older projects instead of continuously holding on to them in the hope that they finally lead somewhere.

There is just so much going on in this story. There's Tripp and his seven year attempt at a novel that still has no end in sight, his oldest friend Crabtree who enjoys a good time even with the looming specter of possible unemployment, Tripp's estranged wife who has left right as the novel opens, his female student slash tenant with a massive crush on him, his Holden Caulfield wannabe student with problems, his mistress who also happens to be the Chancellor of his school, her husband who also happens to be Dean of his department, and their blind dog with homicidal tendencies towards Tripp. Put 'em all in the same pot and watch them stew, bring to a boil.

I did try to remember the movie as I read, and certain parts did come back, but it's been so long since I've seen it that it's hard to remember everything, along with what may or may not have changed. About halfway through this read, I went and picked up a copy of the movie on DVD, as the desire to rewatch it grew stronger as I read. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Jan 27, 2016 |
Saw the movie, read the book, needed to read a review to remember some of the plot, didn't jog a memory of entertainment or wonder at either movie or book. I guess it was ok. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Chabonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Verhagen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Let them think what they liked, but I didn't mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank-- but that's not the same thing. -- Joseph Conrad
Dedication
To Ayelet
First words
The first real writer I ever knew was a man who did all of his work under the name of August Van Zorn.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Pittsburgh professor and author Grady Tripp is working on an unwieldy 2,611 page manuscript that is meant to be the follow-up to his successful, award-winning novel The Land Downstairs, that was published seven years earlier. On the eve of a college-sponsored writers and publishers weekend called WordFest, two monumental things happen to Tripp: his wife walks out on him, and he learns that his mistress, who is also the chancellor of the college, Sara Gaskell, is pregnant with his child. To top it all off, Tripp finds himself involved in a bizarre crime involving one of his students, an alienated young writer named James Leer.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312140940, Paperback)

Grady Tripp is a pot-smoking middle aged novelist who has stalled on a 2611 page opus titled Wonder Boys. His student James Leer is a troubled young writer obsessed by Hollywood suicides and at work on his own first novel. Grady's bizarre editor Terry Crabtree and another student, Hannah Green, come together in his wildly comic, moving, and finally profound search for an ending to his book and a purpose to his life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A funny novel on two college friends who relive their youth by getting up to all sorts of tricks during a literary conference. One is a professor who is writing a novel, the other is his editor. Both left college with high hopes of making a name, hopes which have not materialized. By the author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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