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Manhood For Amateurs Lp Paperback – Oct 1 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperLuxe (Oct. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061885460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061885464
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,980,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"An immensely gifted writer and a magical prose stylist." -- MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES -- The New York Times

"It's as if Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Roth started a rock 'n' roll band; this is writing that makes you want to get up and dance." -- LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW -- Los Angeles Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"It's as if Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Roth started a rock 'n' roll band; this is writing that makes you want to get up and dance." -- LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Michael Chabon starts off his book with a quote from G.K. Chesterton: "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly". This quote is aptly chosen, as each of the essays contained are full of a self-conscious ponderings on Chabon's small successes, and many failures, in his journey into manhood as a father, son, and husband. He approaches each topic with a delicate and candid hand, never overbearing in theme and never preachy, just simple and thoughtful musings on what it means to be a man. There are 39 essays contained in 307 pages of this book, and there was only one essay that I thought I could've done without (the one near the end titled 'Xmas').

The best essays are near the beginning, which have Chabon ruminating on the evolution of Lego, the worlds we create as kids and how parents obsessed with safety are set to infringe on these worlds, the bastardization of childhood by consumer culture and corporate movies that package and sell children's imagination back to them. He then goes on to essays about his childhood, his sexual awakenings, his difficulties as a father dealing with such subjects as drugs, sex, and faking how to install the towel rack in the bathroom. Chabon literally covers pretty much every angle that masculinity can be approached from, and he does so with flair and originality, coming at topics that we've heard of so many times before at different angles and making you see them in a new light. He's also hilarious, and deeply philosophical at times. The writing sometimes poetic, but often conversational as if a friend has taken you aside to let you in on a secret.

I will definitely be keeping this book for a long time, as these are essays that I know I will turn to time and time again for inspiration, laughter, and nostalgia.
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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 24 2009
Format: Hardcover
Reading Chabon's latest collection of essays on the trials and tribulations of becoming a man serves as a powerful reminder that the process involved in such a transformation is anything but cut and dried. If his intimations about his personal upbringing are anything to go by, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle familial forces out there working to impede the ideal journey of discovery and maturation most boys should take on their way to manhood. Often, the end result of a fatherless boy struggling to become a man in a woman's world is a frighteningly dysfunctional messed-up adult who is emotionally immature, sexually confused and physically inept. Tack on the fact that many people automatically assume that such an individual is ready to take on the responsibilities of parenthood suddenly thrust on him. Emotional, physical and social maturity, as measures of growing up and making it a man's world, are really only fallacies visited on many of us by overanxious or maladjusted parents betraying our trust and spoiling our chance to enjoy life. The particular stories about Chabon's struggles as an often `inept' parent who needed to bond more effectively with his children stems from those moments in his past when he was forced to live as a boy growing up in a predominately female domain. Consequently, most of his early adolescent attitudes reflected a heavy reliance on the sexual influence of older women in his impressionable life. Many of his childhood fantasies were worked out through Captain Marvel comic book heroines who represented `women on fire' who passionately pursued their prey in the form of vulnerable men too weak to resist the temptress's power.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews
60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisite Blend of the Mundane and the Mind-Blowing Oct. 13 2009
By Bookreporter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Moms who like to read (and write) about motherhood have had it pretty good over the last decade or so. Led by a cadre of "mom bloggers" and others, women have found new ways to connect over the minutiae, the often thankless drudgery, and even the dark side of modern motherhood. No longer are images of motherhood isolated to the hazy pink aisles of Hallmark's Mother's Day section; instead, moms have discovered camaraderie amid chaos as they read brutally honest confessions of the anguish, boredom and terrifying love to which mothers can now admit. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon's own wife, Ayelet Waldman, has become famous (or, in some circles, notorious) for her own brilliantly written but painfully honest writings about marriage and motherhood.

And while it's fantastic that moms have avenues for them to connect and to converse, dads have had to work much harder to find thoughtful writing about fatherhood that doesn't idealize, essentialize, or talk down to them. Now, Chabon has filled that niche admirably with MANHOOD FOR AMATEURS, a wide-ranging but thematically focused collection of his autobiographical writings (many previously published in Details magazine and elsewhere). Here, Chabon touches on many of the motifs that he has explored in his other nonfiction writing and in his novels --- baseball, comics, sex, writing, religion --- but inevitably circles back to what is, for him, at the center of it all: his family.

Chabon, a father of four young children, uses his writing to constantly define what it means --- and what it could mean --- to be a husband, a father, and a man in the early years of the 21st century. He defines his own role in comparison to his well-meaning but distant father and also in the context of society's (embarrassingly low) expectations of what fathers can and should accomplish. Chabon's writing is unapologetically male-oriented (female readers will learn what fanboys are really thinking when looking at those buxom, Amazonian comic book heroines). But he writes in a way that continually questions the implications of masculinity. For example, he speaks appreciatively of his forced adolescent introduction into the culinary arts when his mother returned to work and of the implications of a man carrying a (gulp) man purse, or "murse."

Throughout, Chabon utilizes the kind of wry observations and exquisite literary craft that have made his novels both popular and critical sensations. Almost all the essays are simultaneously thoughtful, cohesive, and very, very funny. But Chabon's writing is most affecting and emotionally open when he's writing passionately about his wife and beloved children (even when he's commenting on their odorousness or their tendency to ask difficult questions about embarrassing subjects). His observations on marriage and parenthood are specific enough to resonate with other parents but universal enough to speak to any reader who has considered thoughtfully the role of the family in American life or the changing responsibilities and expectations of the sexes.

I used to have a hard time finding gifts for friends about to embark on the journey of fatherhood; most in my circle would just roll their eyes at a sugary gift book about the meaning of fatherhood. But Michael Chabon's new memoir is so much more than that: it is an exquisite blend of the mundane and the mind-blowing, all broken down into short essays just the right length to read while giving Theo a bottle or waiting for Sadie's soccer game to start --- the perfect book for young dads to stash in their murses.

--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl
5.0 out of 5 stars great writing. I believe you will enjoy Oct. 12 2016
By Jan Owens - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just recently discovered Michael Chabon... very insightful, hugely hilarious, great writing. I believe you will enjoy!
3.0 out of 5 stars A little tedious but greatly entertaining July 18 2016
By MER - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great background material for anyone wanting deeper insight into the male psyche without all the psychological bull.
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it. I teach fathering classes and have used ... Aug. 22 2016
By Jon - Published on
Verified Purchase
Enjoyed it. I teach fathering classes and have used some excerpts in the class.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 20 2016
By Thomas J. Molinaro - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chabon is funny and articulate in all that he writes; this is no exception

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