Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate by Mark Oppenheimer

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Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate by Mark Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer, Mark. Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate. Free Press, 2009. ISBN ‎ 978-1439128640 256 pp. $

I got about 75 pages into Wisenheimer and stopped–I put it down because I felt that for someone who is supposedly so gifted with a huge vocabulary and inquisitive nature, this was sort of a dull read–and I WAS the sort of kid that Mark was.

Wisenheimer is about a boy who can’t keep his mouth shut and loves to argue–he finds a home in debate club, and regales readers with stories of how he got into trouble for being a smart aleck in his youth. There is some humor, some pathos, some blow-by-blow accounting of debate matches… but I didn’t find anything particularly dramatic or engaging, even in for example, his retelling of how a prank phone call landed him in hot water. A sense of “lessons learned” is missing from the narrative thus far.

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