We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
This Boy's Life Audiobook

This Boy's Life

Regular Price:$24.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1989, this scarifying memoir has become a classic of the genre, as notable for its artful structure and finely wrought prose as for the events it describes. The book essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. It was made into a movie in 1993.

The story is pretty grim: teen-aged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed.

Deception, disguise, and illusion are the weapons the young man learns to employ as he grows up, not bad training for a writer-to-be. Somber though this tale of family strife is, it is also darkly funny and so artistically satisfying that listeners come away exhilarated.

©1989 Tobias Wolff (P)2010 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Unforgettable." (Time )

"At once compassionate and deeply disturbing." (The New York Times Magazine)

"A jewel-like memoir of childhood in the 1950s...Lucid, bitter, precise, terribly sad: the real-life equivalent of Wolff's acclaimed fiction." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (292 )
5 star
 (111)
4 star
 (106)
3 star
 (51)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.0 (235 )
5 star
 (96)
4 star
 (76)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.2 (234 )
5 star
 (111)
4 star
 (80)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    magicmanmo 06-12-16
    magicmanmo 06-12-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This Boy Had A Life"

    Having not read or listened to memoirs before, I really didn't know what to expect from this. While I felt the ending was a little abrupt, I became weirdly involved in learning more about Tobias Wolff's childhood. To get the most out of this piece, I suggest the reader gives himself/herself time after each session time to mull over Toby's story. I don't know what you'll discover, but I've walked away with a deeper apreciation for the different ways we have all grown up and how that influences our lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rancher203 07-03-15
    Rancher203 07-03-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read"

    The book was well written and portrayed an honest and straightforward opinion into the boys life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 05-02-15
    Jane 05-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional"

    An incredibly beautiful book masterfully performed. Brilliant. Everything you'd expect from a writer of this stature and enhanced by a nuanced performance. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Genie CANDLER, NC, United States 12-19-12
    Genie CANDLER, NC, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delinquency Glorified"
    What did you like best about This Boy's Life? What did you like least?

    Best enjoyed the ability of this character's mother to extricate herself from bad situations. Least enjoyed that she entered one after another and her son's continual display of delinquency and trouble.


    Did Oliver Wyman do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes.


    Did This Boy's Life inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 04-13-11
    Bob 04-13-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "this boys snarky life"

    Tobias' autobiography left me feeling sorry for all who encountered him from his Mom to his many benefactors. In trying to be frank and self revealing he seems to be only aware of how others were oblivious to his inner deceit and shameless lies. He has no love for anyone and doesn't seem to care who he hurts. I can ride along with this for a while but over time it became apparent that he just didn't care about anyone else but himself. Writing it now that he is a successful author, I would have hoped for at least an after-word of some awareness of how people had helped him and some yes, gratitude for if not letting him learn at the feet of the masters at least some common humanity of a mom trying to do the best she could.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 01-25-13
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 01-25-13 Member Since 2015

    katsuey

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    92
    61
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tell Me Why I should care"

    Half way through and haven't found a reason to continue. I don't care one way or another about the main character or even the minor ones.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jamie zinober tampa 09-25-12
    jamie zinober tampa 09-25-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "pretty good"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    it was a good book, but not one that I had to listen to all the time.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.