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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son (P.S.)

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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son (P.S.) Cover

 

Staff Pick

Michael Chabon composes dazzling prose. His love for the art of storytelling is evident in everything he writes. His writing is smart, insightful, candid, funny, sympathetic, and mischievous. This gifted combination makes for one of the rare writers from whom a reader always knows to expect something altogether enjoyable. Some of Chabon's works are indeed gems, but all of them are great books.

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son is precisely what the subtitle says it is. Comprised mostly of essays that were published previously in Details magazine, this collection finds Chabon musing on subjects as disparate as circumcision, baseball, marijuana, superheroes, menarche, Captain Underpants, imagination, Legos, and having sex with your mom's friend when you're 15. It truly seems that Chabon can take any topic, however inherently mundane or fascinating, and craft a piece that is both well written and engrossing. Perhaps what is most magnificent about his writing is that it seems to come from a genuine curiosity and thoughtfulness for things, as is well evident in his fiction. Manhood for Amateurs contains some excellent pieces and, as a whole, is about as good a collection of essays as you're apt to find amongst any of his contemporaries.
Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author — an immensely gifted writer and a magical prose stylist (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) — offers his first major work of nonfiction, an autobiographical narrative as inventive, beautiful, and powerful as his acclaimed, award-winning fiction.

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 our most brilliant and humane writers presents his autobiography and his vision of life in the way so many of us experience our own lives: as a series of reflections, regrets, and reexaminations, 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 presents his memories of childhood, of his parents' marriage and divorce, of moments 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.

Review:

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

Review:

"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." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Manhood is no self-help book on how to be a better father, although I'd argue it can't hurt. Its instructions are more literary: how to write graceful essays that seamlessly jump between the specific and general, while helping to raise four children, which is as specific as anything gets." USA Today

Review:

"[A] fully coherent, incisive examination of his roles as a father, husband, child, writer, and celebrated, self-proclaimed geek....By so profoundly connecting with his own inner child, Chabon makes the business of raising children seem as effortless and graceful as his beguiling fiction." Boston Globe

Review:

"[A] delightful new collection of essays....I would encourage every practicing adult out there to read Chabon's book. It will not only entertain them — though surely it will; it will also encourage and inspire them to continue honing their endlessly demanding, endlessly rewarding practice." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"The results are hilarious, moving, pleasurable, disturbing, transcendent, restless and sometimes a trifle cantankerous — but almost never dull. This energy arises mainly because Chabon seems drawn to his opposites, the masculine tribes to which he doesn't belong." The San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

In his first sustained work of personal writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chabon offers these provocative, autobiographical essays — a series of reflections, regrets, and reexaminations, each sparked by an encounter in the present.

Synopsis:

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 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of our most brilliant and humane writers addresses with his characteristic warmth and lyric wit the all-important question: What does it mean to be a man today?

Synopsis:

“Chabon has always been a magical prose stylist, adept at combining the sort of social and emotional detail found in Philip Roths Goodbye, Columbus stories with the metaphor-rich descriptions of John Updike and John Irvings 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 Policemens 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.

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 and Clay, Summerland (a novel for children), The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Maps and Legends, and Gentlemen of the Road.

He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

mightyhunter, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by mightyhunter)
No disrespect to my own father, but Michael Chabon sounds like the kind of dad that a poor screwed-up guy like me would love to have. Chabon doesn't pretend to be something that he's not, telling us exactly what it was like for him to fumble through growing up, falling in love, making friends, falling out of love, and all the rest of those events in a man's (or woman's) life that allow us to build character. He writes in such a way that makes me believe that we could've been friends, riding our bikes around almost-abandoned suburban streets, talking about those weird kids down the street that we're jealous of. This book will be dog-eared in no time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
ccheval, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by ccheval)
Good writers are first and foremost good thinkers. Michael Chabon has some interesting and nuanced thoughts on his masculine role. If you are a fan, this book will expose more saliently, that which was implicit in his fictional works.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
angkjohnson, June 4, 2010 (view all comments by angkjohnson)
Looking forward to reading this! Sounds great!
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(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061490194
Author:
Chabon, Michael
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20100531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 in 10.40 oz

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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061490194 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Michael Chabon composes dazzling prose. His love for the art of storytelling is evident in everything he writes. His writing is smart, insightful, candid, funny, sympathetic, and mischievous. This gifted combination makes for one of the rare writers from whom a reader always knows to expect something altogether enjoyable. Some of Chabon's works are indeed gems, but all of them are great books.

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son is precisely what the subtitle says it is. Comprised mostly of essays that were published previously in Details magazine, this collection finds Chabon musing on subjects as disparate as circumcision, baseball, marijuana, superheroes, menarche, Captain Underpants, imagination, Legos, and having sex with your mom's friend when you're 15. It truly seems that Chabon can take any topic, however inherently mundane or fascinating, and craft a piece that is both well written and engrossing. Perhaps what is most magnificent about his writing is that it seems to come from a genuine curiosity and thoughtfulness for things, as is well evident in his fiction. Manhood for Amateurs contains some excellent pieces and, as a whole, is about as good a collection of essays as you're apt to find amongst any of his contemporaries.

"Review" by , "Wondrous, wise and beautiful."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Manhood is no self-help book on how to be a better father, although I'd argue it can't hurt. Its instructions are more literary: how to write graceful essays that seamlessly jump between the specific and general, while helping to raise four children, which is as specific as anything gets."
"Review" by , "[A] fully coherent, incisive examination of his roles as a father, husband, child, writer, and celebrated, self-proclaimed geek....By so profoundly connecting with his own inner child, Chabon makes the business of raising children seem as effortless and graceful as his beguiling fiction."
"Review" by , "[A] delightful new collection of essays....I would encourage every practicing adult out there to read Chabon's book. It will not only entertain them — though surely it will; it will also encourage and inspire them to continue honing their endlessly demanding, endlessly rewarding practice."
"Review" by , "The results are hilarious, moving, pleasurable, disturbing, transcendent, restless and sometimes a trifle cantankerous — but almost never dull. This energy arises mainly because Chabon seems drawn to his opposites, the masculine tribes to which he doesn't belong."
"Synopsis" by , In his first sustained work of personal writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chabon offers these provocative, autobiographical essays — a series of reflections, regrets, and reexaminations, each sparked by an encounter in the present.
"Synopsis" by , 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 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of our most brilliant and humane writers addresses with his characteristic warmth and lyric wit the all-important question: What does it mean to be a man today?
"Synopsis" by , “Chabon has always been a magical prose stylist, adept at combining the sort of social and emotional detail found in Philip Roths Goodbye, Columbus stories with the metaphor-rich descriptions of John Updike and John Irvings 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 Policemens 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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