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Download City Boy epub

by Herman Wouk

Download City Boy epub
ISBN: 0006135749
ISBN13: 978-0006135746
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Herman Wouk
Language: English
Publisher: HarperCollins Distribution Services; New edition edition (October 1, 1973)
Pages: 320 pages
ePUB size: 1755 kb
FB2 size: 1632 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 138
Other Formats: rtf txt lit azw

I have read this book every few years since the 1970's and still laugh out loud at the antics of that 1920's era grade school boy. Even though the story takes place in long ago New York City and contains many references to such things as silent movie serials, Tarzan books and nickle subway rides it does not feel dated. Pre-adolescents or those who have been one can easily relate to Herbie. For older readers there is also the bitter sweet feeling of knowing that the Bookbinders' comfortable but precarious middle class life style is dependent on their ownership of half of an ice plant even as the advent of mass market home refrigerators to say nothing of the Great Depression rapidly approaches. For Herbie and his teenage sister Felicia all that trouble would of course seem like many life times away.
One of my favorite parts in the book is the "Armistice Day" assembly at Herbie's school, "Hooray for General Garbage" Herbie's grade chooses to put on an original play based on the surrender at Appomattox while every other grade unfortunately chooses to recite the same poem, "On Flanders Field" . It is the first time the reader gets to know that Herbie is very clever but perhaps a little too clever. I also felt for that last girl who had to slink off the stage in dead silence after reciting a poem that the audience had already heard recited 7 times in a row.
Growing up in the Bronx which is the locale of this novel made reading it extra special having also grown up in the Bronx. Frankly anyone both young and old no matter where they grew up, can relate to most of not all the events that occur in the life of the 11 year old main character and his family as he enters adolescence. Although the novel is a work of fiction it's authenticity regarding the locale and events experienced by the main character brought back memories that lay dormant for years. Despite the fact that I grew up at a later time period the events taking place were very similar to those both my husband and I experienced in the 1940's and 50's when we were both about the same age as the main character. What is so unique about this novel is that I found for the first time after reading books for over 1/2 a century this particular novel could be enjoyed by an 11 year old today as well as an adult of any age. Bought this for my 11 year old grandson and he could not put it down. Upon finishing it he called me to say that the book was "awesome". I also bought it for my husband who is in the middle of reading it. Mr. Wouk skillfully was able to author a book that was not written childishly nor overly adult which is what made it appealing to both young and old. It was written in such a way as to keep readers interested regardless of their age. The book is hilarious at times and also sad at times which is true about life in general. Most enjoyable and highly recommended.
In ,,City Boy" Herman Wouk has provided a charming look at this slice of social reality just prior to the Stock Market crash. Written twenty ears after the actual events, the look into adolescent angst is quite insightful and equally relevant today, although not always with such "sweetness" as its basic flavor. Herbie Bookbinder is the pudgy "smart" kid found in nearly every elementary school classroom. He is an 11-year-old in 7th grader currently smitten with Lucile Glass, a red-haired 6th grade "beauty" who replaces the previous infatuation with his current teacher who has betrayed him by getting married. Herbie's main competitor for Lucile's affections is Lennie Krieger, the 13-year-old son of the partner in the Glass family ice business. Although older and a tremendous athlete, Lennie has been "held back" twice and is in the same classroom as Herbie. On the darker side of the whimsical surface-level main story line of Lucile's vacillating interests toward Herbie and Lennie is the underlying reality of "business" dealings with the takeover attempts of the ice business as well as the manipulations of the school principal and his summer camp venture. The manipulations and counter manipulations of adults to adults, adults to children, children to children, and children to adults are presented in sometimes hilarious scenarios, but underneath the reality Wouk has provided the basis for timeless reflection.