Monday, February 01, 2010

Manhood for Amateurs

I recently had the pleasure of allowing Michael Chabon's recent essay collection Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son to distract me from my academic readings. I can't remember how I came across it, but most likely I was browsing at a bookstore and started reading it. (This has happened more than once before.) I'm glad our library had it.

Chabon is an open geek, expressing his love for comic books and sci-fi television and movies, but he is also a husband and father, and, most of all, a man. He writes poignantly about all of these things in a series of shorter essays that show how he'll never understand females, how his "open and honest" approach to parenthood is often compromised, and how marriages and in-laws can be mixed blessings/curses.

I hadn't read anything by Chabon before, but I found Manhood to be a refreshing read (so much so that I've already checked out his earlier collection of essays, Maps and Legends). Sometimes, Manhood got a bit corny. Sometimes it got a bit artsy. But overall, it came through with a strong, convincing voice, exploring aspects of manhood, childhood, married life, and other things, and looking much closer at these things than people generally care to do. (Sorry for that last beast of a sentence, but time is of an essence.)

A recommended read for anyone.


  1. will try get my hands on a copy of dat!!btw the last sentence was the best part of the post

  2. Library? Damn. I guess that means I can't borrow your copy.


    This is a great similar concept/website.

    I actually downloaded the free e-book and printed it for my teenager brother-in-law. As you can imagine, he thought it was gay. BUT hopefully some things in it rubbed off.