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[Book Review] 'Wonder Boys' by Michael Chabon

wonder boys michael chabon
This novel is so close to my heart.

Besides the fact that it’s a book by Michael Chabon, an author I've been obsessed with these past few years, its story also focuses on a writer who, for seven years, has been trying to finish his latest novel.

I have to admit, though, that this protagonist can be really annoying at times. Known as Grady Tripp, this writer teaches at the university where he's also having an affair with the chancellor and occasionally flirts with a female student. It can be said that he still adores and cares for his wife, but he somehow can't stop doing stupid things. In fact, he even ends up impregnating his mistress (and oh, this woman has been married to another colleague from the same university). He's stoned and/or drunk most of the time, too.

However, there is something that makes him appealing, despite all his unlovable qualities as a human being and as a man. One of them, I think, is his fighting spirit as a writer and an artist. No matter how shitty things have been for him, he's still so keen on finishing his work.

I also like how beautiful his friendship with Terry Crabtree is. Sure, the guy is as fucked up as he is and their relationship isn't perfect, but what they have is really admirable.

Most importantly, Grady's character reminds me that no matter how difficult it is to produce art, particularly in the midst of everything bad and crazy when it comes to the realities we still have to embrace as writers and creators, things are worth trying. There will be tough times, of course; sometimes, we even have to just let go and start anew. But, we have to go on. For me, a young writer struggling to produce something that could be worth other people's time, this kind of hope means a lot.

And of course, I can't miss the fact that it also tells a lot about how fun life as a writer, especially around equally crazy writers, can also be. I'm sure, anyone who's been a part of a writing program or a community of writers can relate to this book.

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