The City Boy [Herman Wouk] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The City Boy by Herman Wouk – book cover, description, publication history. ‘City Boy’ spins a hilarious and often touching tale of an urban kid’s adventures and misadventures on the street, in school, in the countryside.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Ckty Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about byo problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — City Boy by Herman Wouk. City Boy by Herman Wouk. Paperbackpages. Published May 15th by Back Bay Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Aug 29, Mariel rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Recommended to Mariel by: 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.

You can’t help it. It doesn’t matter that it couldn’t be returned. The world must work for the pursuit of happiness.

City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder – Wikipedia

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 grandparents could have read it in their youth they probably didn’t. My grandfather gave me a lot of books and this was not among them. It has been rerereread. Where have you been? 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. Maybe a sweet pain kind of comfort read like Blue Castle or ‘Oscar’. Sometimes I really love this website.


I really loved City Boy. I feel like I’m in a young person’s world and not as the adult or the kid. Maybe scanning the room for someone to root for, rather than relate to, and there’s Herbie Bookbinder. 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. I wouldn’t have identified with him as I should, or seen past the front he put up to protect himself. 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. Think hall monitor or patrols, if you’re American. 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. 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. He couldn’t really bully anyone with his position and tried to do it anyway. So much for the freedom. So I was saying that if he tried to use his pitiful position of litter clean up staff to tell me where I could and couldn’t be between classes it would have been over for us.

He was also the teacher’s pet and can you get worse than that? I guess City Boy does have an air of teacher’s pet about it in Wouk’s writing. He’s the adult that feels pity for poor, fat Herbie. The good kind of pity! Not the kind that is like feeling like shit after you’ve been caught crying. Wouk sees the longing in his eyes and hopes that things will be better for him some day. The best part about City Boy is that it isn’t from Wouk’s place and the teacher’s pet stuff is mostly in the background.

Thankfully it really sucks to be Herbie. We are in Herbie’s place. Maybe he’s looking at us for something to relate to.

He falls in love with a girl he can’t have. There’s no way that’s the end of it. 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.


That’s the way to live! The sharp edge void living stuff. It’s great to see it from that place instead of seeing the swotty fat boy who has rich parents with a high priced lawyer.

It’d be easy to squint and picture an adult Herbie I’d hate. But I know he can be so miserable and now I love him because I know he’s more than that. 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!

It’s not rosy to take a look at this kid and see the hope and the pain stuff. It’s going to be lots and lots of that! Just because it is a happy kind of misery hermwn.

It’s my kind of comfort read is what it is. You aren’t embarrassed because someone saw empathy and I don’t know what color that is but it probably isn’t rosy.

The City Boy

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. Misery sat at the fat boy’s right hand, and Shame at the left; and they made the morning mighty lively for Herbie between them. I hope he fucks up a whole lot more.

Okay, so I don’t think it is a good idea to be too hard on Lucille. The plot blurb is ridiculous.