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Werewolves in Their Youth

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  3,864 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
The author of Wonder Boys returns with a powerful and wonderfully written collection of stories. Caught at moments of change, Chabon's men and women, children and husbands and wives, all face small but momentous decisions. They are caught in events that will crystallize and define their lives forever, and with each, Michael Chabon brings his unique vision and uncanny under
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 2nd 2000 by Picador (first published January 19th 1999)
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notgettingenough
A paired look at Rohinton Mistry Tales from Firozsha Baag and Michael Chabon Werewolves in Their Youth.

I chanced upon these back to back, both short story collections, both by writers in their working youth – Mistry’s first book and an early one for Chabon. Both as much as anything nostalgic, bittersweet recollections of childhood, the middle class childhoods of their own existences.

Chabon: laugh out loud funny – you know…so that it gets almost irritating for those who are suffering through your
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Rob
Sep 30, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it
These days I come to short story collections cautiously.

I don’t blame the stories. It’s my own fault.

Six years ago, as I was working on my Ph.D., my advisor and I decided that in order to make myself more marketable to Departments of English in various schools I should specialize in something literature-based. This was an intimidating thought. My undergrad degree was in English Education, my Master’s degree was in Language, Literacy, and Composition, and even though I had ten years of teaching h
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Oscar
Michael Chabon escribió estos cuentos en sus primeros años como escritor. "Chico prodigioso" a temprana edad, la revista New Yorker publicaba sus relatos a mediados de los ochenta, cuando Chabon era un veinteañero. La mayoría de los cuentos que componen este volumen son maravillosos. Con una aparente simplicidad, Chabon escribe sobre matrimonios que se desintegran, y cómo es de difícil el paso de la juventud a la madurez. Mezclando sabiamente el humor, la ironía y el drama, Chabon nos ofrece nue ...more
Raya
Dec 29, 2015 Raya rated it it was amazing
Lately I've been reading collections of short fiction by some favorite writers, and read Troublemakers by Harlan Ellison and Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. Both books had wonderful, deep, dark, resonant works, and also had light ditties that were charming. Both also had a weaker piece or two, which is pretty much inevitable. Not every story in a collection is going to be stellar, like not every song on an album is going to be a masterwork.

Werewolves in Their Youth just about challenged that not
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Devin
Dec 11, 2014 Devin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything that makes Michael Chabon one of my favourite novelists is found in these short stories. Tales of hard luck characters standing upon the precipice of bad decisions have a strong pull on my sympathies as a reader. People transformed by life events that simply spiralled out of control. Chabon's world is populated by marriages, business ventures, real estate deals and professional sports careers on the skids. Reasonably intelligent people unable to pull themselves out of disaster. They a ...more
Lacy
Apr 03, 2008 Lacy rated it really liked it
I am enamored with Michael Chabon. I love short stories. The two combined are a combination worth checking out.
Matt Root
Jan 23, 2017 Matt Root rated it liked it
Books of short stories are hard to rate. Some of these stories are brilliant. Some I found pretty lacklustre. So it gets a 3 over all.
Ryan
Apr 25, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it
I'm going to keep this short, considering I need to get some laundry done and I read this book about four months ago or something.

The guy is just very good at creating fiction that splits between the literary and the more-or-less popularly entertaining story. The measured voice of the narrator is the one constant, although the subjects of the stories being told varies a lot one to the next. I seem to remember stories touching on genre being blended with those that approach memoir - very much in
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Cody
Jul 19, 2007 Cody rated it liked it
This has, so far, been the most disappointing book by Chabon that I've read. I would say that he's a very talented writer, one of my favorites, but here he seems tangled in his own words. Beautiful metaphors and images drop from the sky like gleaming marbles, but they land on an otherwise flat, nearly featureless plane. Many sentences feel overwrought to the point where they stretch thin enough to see the webbing that holds them together. Emotions, in particular, don't reach the reader until the ...more
Dominic
Feb 02, 2016 Dominic rated it really liked it
Chabon's novels are sprawling and lush and expansive, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from his truncated fiction. I'm happy to say, though, I found these short stories, from one of my favourite all-time writers, to be satisfying and entertaining. I felt like these early stories provide a lot of insight into some of the developing themes and concerns in his impressive work in the 21st century.

Honestly, I believe no one captures the follies and complexities and brokenness of being a male i
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Spike
Oct 20, 2009 Spike rated it really liked it
I'm only rating this four stars due to a few flat stories in the collection (house Hunting and The Harris Fetko Story). The best of the bunch is Son of Wolfman, a tale with precisely the correct lilt of redemption at the end. If this story doesn't lift your heart, read it again and again. My other favorites were the title story and The Black Mill.
In all these tales, Chabon manages to pack tiny corkscrews of philosophy and tangential notions into the prose. He uses quirky metaphors that pull the
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Philip
Chabon's a brilliant writer, but I didn't feel his imagination had the room to unfurl itself in these short stories. Though told from various points of view and with some clever variants, these are all essentially portraits of middle-class American marriages in collapse. They're well-written and fun -- except when Chabon strays into the area of US sports, making no concessions to the ignorant reader and becoming completely impenetrable -- but basically inconsequential. The one exception is the f ...more
Xandra
I am pleased to report there are no werewolves in this short story collection, unless you count the kid pretending to be one. Not even a whiff of fantasy, actually. One horror story and eight slice of [American] life pieces that are mostly relationship-centered (husband-wife, father-son, father-daughter, best friends, etc.). A few spring from good ideas and have interesting endings, but ultimately fail to accomplish much. Thoughts and characters are sent adrift in the general tediousness and poi ...more
Laura
Jan 09, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
s/werewolves/douchenozzles

(fixed that for you)

(read it anyway, Chabon tells a decent story)
Ronnie
Feb 23, 2017 Ronnie rated it really liked it
I've read that Chabon wrote these stories in his relative "youth," but the only one in the collection I thought had any real greenness was the concluding piece, "In the Black Mill." It was an interesting choice for the book's finale, too, because, unlike the other eight selections, it alone doesn't focus in some way on a troubled or outright broken marriage. (Now that I consider that, though, maybe there's a metaphorical reading of it I didn't get related to the spooky women hovering in the stor ...more
Shel
Jan 01, 2017 Shel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stories
A strong collection of visceral and empathetic stories with a distinctly masculine perspective. The narrators' conflicted and amoral thoughts create dynamic tension. The first five stories all gripped and drew the reader in with an engaging narrator — a couple of stories in the middle "Spikes," and "That Was Me" lacked the same immediacy. The collection ends with a departure, a take on Lovecraft, — enjoyable for fans.

Standouts: "Son of the Wolfman," is a visceral story about a man coping with hi
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James M.
Jan 16, 2017 James M. rated it it was amazing
These stories are crafted with intricate skill as Chabon probes the intimate emotions of bruised, if not bleeding, human relationships, often between husband and wives. The stories sometimes almost feel intrusive, as the reader delves into the hearts, minds and events that shape the characters. Rising above the tortured lives, there is a compassion that is at the heart of each little tale. The final story is a sci-fi fantasy centered in the coal-fired hills of Pennsylvania, that takes the reader ...more
Kel
I only really liked the very last story that's supposed to be by a fictional author referenced in Wonder Boys--the story takes place in W.Pa is about a factory and witches, so, of course, I was game. Otherwise all of the stories are about divorcees and oddly hard to follow or maybe they were too uninteresting to pay attention to.
Vishal
Jan 19, 2017 Vishal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The eponymous first story was excerpted in This American Life. The full version is great.

The last story (gothic horror style) is also a standout.

The test of the stories were good, though half did end a bit too cute and neat.
Lacygnette
Good solid realistic stories. The Son of Wolfman was my favorite - tackled the worrisome subject of a child created by rape with some subtlety.
Michael
Jan 26, 2017 Michael rated it it was amazing
Affecting stories with style.
Brian Grass
Jan 13, 2017 Brian Grass rated it liked it
Solidly entertaining. The one short story in the collection, that gives the book it's name, is truly a stand out. A solid recommendation. Well written and clever.
Em
Jan 06, 2017 Em rated it really liked it
Would give this collection a 3.5 if it were possible. All of the stories are entertaining; "Werewolves in their Youth" and "Son of the Wolfman" are excellent.
Joel Foster
Oct 03, 2016 Joel Foster rated it really liked it
Werewolves In Their Youth is a collection of several short stories by Michael Chabon. The stories have a connecting theme (for the most part) of marriages that start out well but are eventually torn apart by the participants.

I really like Chabon's writing. The works are literary, beautifully written (I highlighted many passages for their sheer beauty) and poignant. The one downside (for me at least) is the fact that most stories seem to end abruptly or unsatisfyingly. But I still recommend them
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Christey Foster
Nov 15, 2011 Christey Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie
Sep 20, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
"Werewolves in Their Youth" is tricky – in a good way. In his stories, Chabon has a way of confusing you but making you want to read them again. I love how truly creative he is, I have never read anything like these stories. My favorite had to be the title story. I absolutely love Paul and Timothy. They were complete kids. Many stories you read out there tend to add action or dialogue that make you question ages but Chabon got them pitch perfect. Between Paul’s ant empire and Timothy’s constant ...more
nate
Dec 25, 2016 nate added it
Shelves: short-stories, 2016
I enjoy the short story form and this was another great collection. My third Chabon book this year.
Chris
Mar 14, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
When I first heard of this collection of nine short stories I judged the book by its title and assumed it was a collection of horror stories. This turned out to be untrue. All the stories are quite different but a common theme is strained or broken relationships. The stories are well written, easy to read and a good length.

Most of them are thought provoking and empathetic towards the plights of the characters who are well developed and generally likeable. The characters have been carefully writ
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Dennis D.
Oct 22, 2010 Dennis D. rated it really liked it
This is a breezy collection of short stories, and was a nice breather (for me) from a recent stream of 'doorstop' books. I like Michael Chabon based on the two novels of his I have read so far, Mysteries of Pittsburgh and The Wonder Boys, but also for his rep. He contributes to McSweeney’s from time to time, and he and I share a love of certain types of guy-friendly genre fiction (horror, sci-fi).

Despite the title, this is not a collection of werewolf tales, or even horror stories. There’s only
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Katrina
May 23, 2012 Katrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wishing for half stars again, so I could give this collection 4.5. It's not quite perfect--perhaps I'm too harsh a critic of short stories--but these nine tales are excellently crafted, with only a few minor flaws.

In the Black Mill was a bit disappointing, partly because dipping into the horror genre after reading Chabon's Maps and Legends essays felt like such a long-awaited treat. For the most part, it was worth the wait. The language and tone were nearly pitch-perfect, and the conclusion was
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Michael Chabon (b. 1963) is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000). Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty-four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), which was a major critical and commercial success. He then published Wonder Boys (1995), another bestseller, which was mad ...more
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“Although sex was something they both regarded as perilous, marriage had, by contrast, seemed safe– a safe house in a world of danger; the ultimate haven of two solitary, fearful souls. When you were single, this was what everyone who was already married was always telling you. Daniel himself had said it to his unmarried friends. It was, however, a lie. Sex had everything to do with violence, that was true, and marriage was at once a container for the madness between men and women and a fragile hedge against it, as religion was to death, and the laws of physics to the immense quantity of utter emptiness of which the universe was made. But there was nothing at all safe about marriage. It was a doubtful enterprise, a voyage in an untested craft, across a hostile ocean, with a map that was a forgery and with no particular destination but the grave.” 20 likes
“I HAD known him as a bulldozer, as a samurai, as an android programmed to kill, as Plastic Man and Titanium Man and Matter-Eater Lad, as a Buick Electra, as a Peterbilt truck, and even, for a week, as the Mackinac Bridge, but it was as a werewolf that Timothy Stokes finally went too far.” 6 likes
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