By Geoffrey Wolff

With those interwoven autobiographical essays, Geoffrey Wolff, writer of the acclaimed The Duke of Deception, recounts the ethical (and immoral) schooling of a author, good friend, husband, and father, as he bargains his lively, based, and deeply felt observations on a rare lifestyles: from wildly dysfunctional formative years Christmases to a concupiscent occupation educating literature in Istanbul; from a victory over the chaos of drink to a life-affirming quit to the majesty of the Matterhorn; and from a foundering friendship to the transcending love of family.

He stocks with us, then, the knowledge of an alert guy studying in the course of the unsettling collisions of time, position, and native customized, and during the strength of hassle and risk, to carry his many disparate selves jointly -- with awesome high-stakes candor and extraordinary literary agility.

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Extra resources for A Day at the Beach: Recollections

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Getting into the touring party, which I soon did, was one thing; making the starting XI for the first Test in Pakistan was another thing entirely. The team’s batting order was pretty much locked in—Taylor, Slater, Boon, M. Waugh, position vacant, S. Waugh, Healy—and both Justin Langer and I had our sights set on that one vacancy at No. 5. QX5 5/12/07 3:03 AM Page 27 Test. Scores of 38 run out and 62 not out in that lead-up encounter were enough to guarantee my place. Those one-dayers in Sri Lanka were weird games.

It wasn’t until I was dropped from the First XI that I was able to escape and play more naturally. And playing for Australia A in the World Series (this was the season in which the Australian Cricket Board included an Australia A combination in the World Series, to add interest to a competition that also featured England and Zimbabwe as well as the real Australian team), I found that I was able to do just that. More relaxed, I started making runs, including a hundred in a one-dayer against a similar English bowling attack to the one that had embarrassed me in the Tests.

And playing for Australia A in the World Series (this was the season in which the Australian Cricket Board included an Australia A combination in the World Series, to add interest to a competition that also featured England and Zimbabwe as well as the real Australian team), I found that I was able to do just that. More relaxed, I started making runs, including a hundred in a one-dayer against a similar English bowling attack to the one that had embarrassed me in the Tests. What I didn’t acknowledge at that time—and for quite a while afterwards—was that it was the pressure I put on myself during the Test matches that had stopped me playing naturally, and thus had brought me undone.

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