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, buddy, husband, and father, as he deals his lively, stylish, and deeply felt observations on a unprecedented lifestyles: from wildly dysfunctional youth 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 during the unsettling collisions of time, position, and native customized, and during the strength of hassle and probability, to deliver his many disparate selves jointly -- with amazing high-stakes candor and amazing literary agility.

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I was away at law school when Tippy died—­in December. A few years later, my brother Jay had a motorcycle accident on December 1 and wound up in intensive care, not expected to live. He spent a week in a coma and several more weeks in intensive and critical care and then a rehab facility. The family spent Christmas at his hospital bedside in the critical care unit of the General Hospital. He survived, with a twelve-­inch scar down his chest, a few nuts and bolts in his body, and no memory of December.

Seamus was curled in his bed, wrapped around half of a sourdough loaf with the other half still protruding from inside his belly. Apparently he had a job to finish. As we walked toward him, he chomped down on the bread, attempting to swallow it whole. Chris moved toward him quickly. Seamus growled and gulped simultaneously. Back off, Food Guy, this one’s mine! Chris cornered Seamus and reached for the chunk of bread. Seamus clenched his jaw tighter around the loaf and curled his lip, exposing more of the bread and his teeth.

When Chris and I sat on the couch, Seamus came over, quietly and a bit more calmly, sniffing Chris’s pants and paying no attention to me. Chris petted the dog’s head, and I noticed he looked about as comfortable as I did when people forced me to hold or coo over their babies. But, okay, there was no growling or fighting. And neither one looked like they’d be biting the other anytime soon. ” I ventured. Chris widened his eyes at me. ” “Well, he didn’t know you, and you walked right into the house.

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