Herbie is an exceptionally bright but fat little boy, a seventh grader and a star pupil. Both blessed and cursed with a highly-active imagination, Herbie is also on the verge of adolescence , and the story revolves around his continuing quest to win the heart of the fickle, red-haired Lucille Glass. Herbie, his parents, and his thirteen-year-old sister, Felicia, dwell in an aging Homer Avenue apartment house. Herbie contrives to have himself and his sister, his cousin Cliff Block, and his rival Lennie sent to Camp Manitou run by Mr.
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How did I go through all of my life without ever hearing of this book? This is my favorite kind of book! I can see why one book reminded her of the other. They share a soul of bittersweet pain. Like if it hurt too much to fall in love but your days are too long without it and you never stop looking for someone or something else to Lots and lots of thanks to El for mentioning City Boy in her review of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Like if it hurt too much to fall in love but your days are too long without it and you never stop looking for someone or something else to fill the sharp edges of the bottomless pit. The world must work for the pursuit of happiness.
Also, fat boys who fall in love a lot and live in the Bronx. City Boy has been out for a long, long time. My grandfather gave me a lot of books and this was not among them. It has been rerereread. Where have you been?
What about me?! I wanted a comfort read but it had to be a special kind of comfort read. No Mary-Sues so fantasy was out. If I was going to feel the sting of my inferiority complex it would have to be a hell no. Sometimes I really love this website. I really loved City Boy. I probably would have hated Herbie if I was one of his class mates. It was enough that he comes from a family with money.
I would have resented that. The first time he used his "garbage gang" status to bully me I would have started doing impersonations of him for the class before the bell rang I was only secretly nice. I guess the UK and Oz versions are prefects. It sounds a lot like patrols. Prefects are respected, right? My UK school knowledge is all due to Harry Potter. I was a patrol as a last pick for the last term of the school year.
Hardly prestigious. I used it to leave class early. I was like Herbie. He used it for freedom in the halls. He was not in the top tier of school authoritative system with the garbage band. He was a laughing stock. So much for the freedom. The good kind of pity! Wouk sees the longing in his eyes and hopes that things will be better for him some day. Thankfully it really sucks to be Herbie. That is going to be his life. Hey, I told you I have an inferiority complex.
He goes to summer camp and he gets in a lot of trouble. I haaated summer camp I only went for two and a half days. I loved the lying. I loved the stuff that I would have hated Herbie for when I was a kid. The way he tried to talk himself into the rules of the way things worked. Getting out of trouble, staying ahead. A lot of talking out of and figuring out what works by trying it out. The sharp edge void living stuff. If only one could feel like the teacher at the front with the wider view more often as opposed to the kid caught sneaking around ugh.
City Boy gets shit for being too rosy viewed about Jewish life in the Bronx in the s. But we already know life sucks! Just because it is a happy kind of misery read. Listen, Herbie has moments like this: He was not seen again that merry morning, for he spent it lying on a flat rock near the shore, hidden by thunderbrush. A lonesome, quiet situation, you might say, yet he had plenty of company. I hope he fucks up a whole lot more. The plot blurb is ridiculous. There was one in my class who had a different girlfriend every day.
That book is awesome.
Twitter Herman Wouk, At a time of literary experimentation, his prose style and plot structures were conventional if not downright retrograde; in an era of radical critique, his sensibility was one of bemusement rather than outrage. His was not the voice of the jeremiad against postwar suburban conformity but of gentle mockery at the shopworn pretensions of bohemian poseurs and ethnic Jews passing as nonhyphenated Americans. Without ideological fanfare, his works injected the New Deal and Popular Front agenda of ethnic pluralism into a new, more inclusive definition of American patriotism, one that gently edged WASPs from their pedestal without violently overturning it.
City Boy by Herman Wouk
His father toiled for many years to raise the family out of poverty before opening a successful laundry service. After a brief period as a young adult during which he lived a secular life, he returned to religious practice. S Naval Reserve in and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II , an experience he later characterized as educational: "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans. He participated in eight invasions and won a number of battle stars. Wouk sent a copy of the opening chapters to philosophy professor Irwin Edman , under whom he studied at Columbia,  who quoted a few pages verbatim to a New York editor. The novel was published in and became a Book of the Month Club main selection. At one point she remarked that if they did not like this one, he had better take up another line of work a line he would give to the character of the editor Jeannie Fry in his novel Youngblood Hawke ,