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Manhood for Amateurs

Cover of Manhood for Amateurs

Manhood for Amateurs

The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son
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"Chabon has always been a magical prose stylist, adept at combining the sort of social and emotional detail found in Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus stories with the metaphor-rich descriptions of John Updike and John Irving's inventive sleight of hand. . . . As in his novels, he shifts gears easily between the comic and the melancholy, the whimsical and the serious, demonstrating once again his ability to write about the big subjects of love and memory and regret without falling prey to the Scylla and Charybdis of cynicism and sentimentality."
— Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"Wondrous, wise and beautiful."
— David Kamp, New York Times Book Review

The bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Werewolves in Their Youth, Wonderboys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policemen's Union Michael Chabon "takes [his] brutally observant, unfailingly honest, marvelously human gaze and turns it on his own life" (Time) in the New York Times bestselling memoir Manhood for Amateurs.

"Chabon has always been a magical prose stylist, adept at combining the sort of social and emotional detail found in Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus stories with the metaphor-rich descriptions of John Updike and John Irving's inventive sleight of hand. . . . As in his novels, he shifts gears easily between the comic and the melancholy, the whimsical and the serious, demonstrating once again his ability to write about the big subjects of love and memory and regret without falling prey to the Scylla and Charybdis of cynicism and sentimentality."
— Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"Wondrous, wise and beautiful."
— David Kamp, New York Times Book Review

The bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Werewolves in Their Youth, Wonderboys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policemen's Union Michael Chabon "takes [his] brutally observant, unfailingly honest, marvelously human gaze and turns it on his own life" (Time) in the New York Times bestselling memoir Manhood for Amateurs.

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About the Author-
  • Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize—winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonder Boys, Werewolves in Their Youth, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland, The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Maps & Legends, Gentlemen of the Road, Telegraph Avenue, and the picture book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Whether reflecting on his role as son, brother, husband, or father, Chabon's delightful essays are provocative and insightful. This wide-ranging collection touches on everything from becoming a father to losing a father-in-law (through divorce); from musings on a quirky childhood to a discussion of what society considers to be a "good father" today. He also describes his quandary over what to do with his four children's prolific artwork. (Note: If one disposes of it, it's important to stuff it DEEP, so it isn't discovered.) By turns poignant and witty, Chabon is a comfortable, inviting reader. His relaxed and conversational style is shot through with occasional fervent moments. He's unhurried yet precise in his pacing and phrasing, and most of all likably, often ruefully, humorous. J.C.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 20, 2009
    An entertaining omnibus of opinionated essays previously published mostly in Details
    magazine spotlights novelist Chabon's (The Yiddish Policemen's Union
    ) model of being an attentive, honest father and a fairly observant Jew. Living in Berkeley, Calif., raising four children with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, who has also just published a collection of parenting stories (Bad Mother
    ), Chabon, at 45, revisits his own years growing up in the 1970s with a mixture of rue and relief. A child of the suburbs of Maryland and elsewhere, where children could still play in what he calls in one essay the “Wilderness of Childhood,” he enjoyed a freedom now lost to kids, endured the divorce of his parents, smoked a lot of pot, suffered a short early marriage and finally found his life's partner, who takes risks where he won't. The essays are tidily arranged around themes of manly affection (his first father-in-law, his younger brother); “styles of manhood,” such as faking at being a handyman; and “patterns of early enchantment,” such as his delight in comic books, sci-fi and stargazing. Candid, warm and humorous, Chabon's essays display his habitual attention to craft.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 25, 2010
    Chabon delivers a polished, subtle, and enjoyable rendition of his first major work of nonfiction. In plumbing his own experiences as husband and father of four to explore masculinity in all its messiness and promise, Chabon offers a powerful paean to family life. Whether describing his boyhood, his years of dedicated marijuana smoking, the evolution of comic book heroines, his children’s art projects, his marriage, or his career, Chabon is a relaxed and likable reader: his nuanced narration enhances his prose and offers the listener a window into his inner life that deepens the potency and meaning of these essays. Reflective but never indulgent, emotional but never sentimental, and philosophical while remaining funny to the core, this is richly rewarding listening. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, July 20).

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Manhood for Amateurs
Manhood for Amateurs
The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son
Michael Chabon
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