This book is funny, smart and soulful. What Manhood for Amateurs basically amounts to is an impressionistic memoir formed from a series of short interwoven essays that riff on fatherhood, brotherhood, husband-hood and various other aspects of maleness. Chabon is a great writer but to dwell on the quality of his prose (which here as always is quite fine) misses the point. This book has real heart and warmth and touches on some home truths about what it might mean to be a Man (yes, note the capital M) in this day and age. As my brother awaited the birth of his second child I handed him a copy of Manhood for Amateurs. It’s that kind of book.— Matt, Los Angeles
“This collection of essays offers Michael Chabon's thoughts and observations on a wide range of topics from various vantage points in his life: son, grandson, brother, lover, husband, and father. The subjects are varied, but the writing is consistently sharp, poignant, humorous, and a pure joy to read.”
— Anne Miley, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
“Demonstrating his range, depth, intelligence, and tenderness, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Chabon takes us on a tour of contemporary maleness via his own life. It's a fascinating complement and counterpoint to the recent and wonderful Bad Mother, a tour of femaleness by his wife, Ayelet Waldman. Both books are terrific reading group choices, and they'll leave you feeling that Chabon and Waldman are your new -- and smartest -- best friends.”
— Banna Rubinow, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
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.
“Hilarious, moving, pleasurable, disturbing, transcendent, restless. . . . And seemingly by accident, Chabon ultimately does create a composite image of ideal manhood, one that is modest, responsible, bemused, empathic, and thoughtful.”
-Jeremy Adam Smith, San Francisco Chronicle
“Chabon brings his prodigiously entertaining verbal intelligence to a very personal investigation of what it means to be a father, a son, and a husband.”
-Lev Grossman, Time (Top 10 Nonfiction Books Citation)
“Wry and heartfelt, Chabon’s riffs uncover brand-new insights in even the most quotidian subjects. . . . He applies an unusual level of wit and candor to the form.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Both lyrical and side-splittingly funny. . . . Readers seeking the intelligence of Updike; the gentle, brainy appeal of Sedaris; or the literary virtuosity of Nabokov will thoroughly enjoy.”
-Douglas C. Lord, Library Journal
“Chabon takes a big, fat swing at the essay form with his second collection and achieves success. . . . These warm and thoughtful essays underscore just how good a wordsmith Chabon is-regardless of the form he chooses.”
-Jerry Eberle, Booklist