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BookBrowse Reviews Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon

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Manhood for Amateurs

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

by Michael Chabon

Manhood for Amateurs
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2009, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2010, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Julie Wan

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Personal essays on childhood, marriage, and fatherhood from the author of The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay

After tackling novels, short stories, genre fiction, screenplays, a young adult novel, and, last year, his first work of nonfiction (Maps and Legends, a collection of linked essays), Michael Chabon finally talks about his own life in these personal narratives on manhood.

The book acts as a manual of sorts, divided into sections with playfully instructive titles like "Techniques of Betrayal," "Exercises in Masculine Affection," and "Tactics of Wonder and Loss." This gives a loose structure to a collection that explores, in non-chronological fashion, Chabon's variety of roles as father, son, teenager, friend, and husband, among others.

Since the essays tend to be short (one of them is only three pages, and many are not much longer), it's difficult to be immersed in one story for long before moving on to a different time, setting, and mood. But the book seems to return to its anchor ...

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