Manhood for Amateurs

Manhood for Amateurs

The Pleasures and Regrets of A Husband, Father, and Son

Book - 2009
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A shy manifesto, an impractical handbook, the true story of a fabulist, an entire life in parts and pieces, Manhood for Amateurs is the first sustained work of personal writing from Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of America's most brilliant and humane writers presents his autobiography and his vision of life in the way so many of us experience our own: as a series of reflections, regrets and re-examinations, each sparked by an encounter, in the present, that holds some legacy of the past.

What does it mean to be a man today? Chabon invokes and interprets and struggles to reinvent for us, with characteristic warmth and lyric wit, the personal and family history that haunts him even as--simply because--it goes on being written every day. As a devoted son, as a passionate husband and above all as the father of four young Americans, Chabon renders his memories of childhood, of his parents' marriage and divorce, of painful adolescent comedy and giddy encounters with the popular art and literature of his own youth, as a theme played--on different instruments, with a fresh tempo and in a new key--by the mad quartet of which he now finds himself co-conductor. At once dazzling, hilarious and moving, Manhood for Amateurs is destined to become a classic.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2009.
ISBN: 9781554682058
Characteristics: xiv, 306 p. ;,22 cm.


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JCLChrisK Mar 31, 2017

An entertaining and at times enlightening collection of essays on a broad range of topics related to gender and family roles. All of them are well-written and thoughtful. They are at their strongest when Chabon focuses on social commentary. Some of his personal anecdotes really resonated with me, but many are too particular and situated to his unique context to feel like they connect universally; and, for reasons I can't quite name, his confessional moments never felt truly vulnerable enough to me. Still, I appreciated all of them even when they didn't strike an emotional chord, and really enjoyed the ones that did.

Sep 02, 2014

The Pulitzer Prize winning author takes a thoughtful look, through the prism of his own experience, at what it means to be a man in our culture. The result is a varied collection of moving and funny essays. This also might serve as an instruction manual for spouses of smart, sensitive, well-meaning but ultimately flawed men.

Jul 04, 2011

This book of essays is well-written, insightful, sometimes poignant and often funny. The author photo is a bit weird but the book is great.
He writes of being a father, a husband, a son and an American and how complicated and difficult all of that is. It's a wonderful book for both genders and anyone over 16 or so (occasional language issues preclude younger readers).

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