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Werewolves in Their Youth

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,682 Ratings  ·  231 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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Rob
Oct 03, 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
notgettingenough
A paired look at Werewolves in Their Youth and Tales from Firozsha Baag by Mistry. http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...


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 suf
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Dominic
Feb 03, 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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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.
Raya
Feb 15, 2016 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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Cody
Oct 28, 2009 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
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)
Camilo Guerra
Mar 01, 2014 Camilo Guerra rated it it was ok
Shelves: noir
Michael Chabon es de mis favoritos y puede que nos ea tan conocido en Colombia , pero es un genio. A cualquier persona que le gusten los comics o simplemente una buena historia ,deberia ser obligatorio que leyera LAS AVENTURAS DE CAVALIER & CLAY, o su increible novela negra EL SINDICATO DE LA POLICIA YIDDISH, por eso compre este libro sin parapadeo.

¿expectativas muy grandes?,siempre, pero la verdad esperaba muchisimo mas, siento que me quedarón debiendo. Yo amo a Tarantino pero su DEATH PROO
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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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Ariel
Aug 01, 2015 Ariel rated it liked it
On occasion I suffer from readers amnesia and forget about awesome books and their authors, that I have read. Twice this last week I have found myself in a sense of either deja vu or 'crap, I forgot about this author'. The deja vu was when I started reading A Widow for One Year by William Irving, remember that I had read most of it and didn't like it. The 'crap' moment was when I found a book of short stories by Michael Chabon called Werewolves in Their Youth, remembering that I had purchased an ...more
Jack Haringa
Jan 21, 2016 Jack Haringa rated it liked it
Shelves: collections
Chabon's second short story collection was published a few years after his second novel, Wonder Boys, but the stories within date from both before and after the novel. They also seem to date from a period in which Chabon still feels that plot is something of a dirty word (except for the final tale, "In the Black Mill," which stands radically apart from the others). Eight of the nine stories feature broken marriages in one way or another, and each feels very much like a standard "literary" story ...more
Alex Sarll
Although this is his second collection, and he'd already been publishing for over a decade, this still feels in some sense like early Chabon; with the exception of the closing Lovecraft pastiche (more in subject and setting than style, mercifully) much of it could pass without comment in even the most stiflingly litfic of circles. These are stories of men and boys who don't quite know their place in the world, generally experiencing some sort of minor epiphany and seldom beset by too much in the ...more
Rachel
Aug 27, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hamish
Jan 28, 2015 Hamish rated it liked it
Shelves: lit
I wanted to love this the way I normally love Chabon, but after the (excellent) first story I started picking up on these little verbal tics that took me out of it a bit. I usually admire Chabon's use of language and his gift for specific, vivid and idiosyncratic detail and description that bring his work to life. But at times those idiosyncrasies feel forced, showy and not actually helpful. In one story he describes one thing as "the color of boiled shrimp" and another as "the color of a hammer ...more
Rand Renfrow
Mar 10, 2015 Rand Renfrow rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
The wonderful Chabon writing is definitely present in this collection, albeit a tad bit less expansive than his current prose, more in the vein of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which honestly I like a little bit more, so you would think I'd give this 4 stars, and I certainly would have, save for the fact that every story is about the same darn thing! Every short story, except for maybe the first and the last, revolve around a crumbling marriage. In the afterword to Gentlemen of the Road, where he ...more
Edward Burton
Feb 20, 2016 Edward Burton rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of stories about people with hangups and their relationships. Perhaps that's oversimplifying it, but in a nutshell it's the meat of this book. One story, "Son of the Wolfman" involves a woman who is raped on a jogging trail. She becomes pregnant and decides to keep the baby. Her husband refers to the unborn child as the son of the Wolfman, and the tale centers on what this ordeal does to their marriage. Some of these stories are unsettling, but all of them will fatally ...more
Alex
Feb 24, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
I have never read Michael Chabon before, but this was a very good introduction. His style is one that manages to bridge the gap of being thorough and dense but still flowing with the same amount of ease as if he were using the most basic language possible. His prose has an excellent rhythm. What impressed me most was the last story, In the Black Mill, where he manages to accurately replicate the style of early Gothic fiction and strange fiction, like Robert W. Chambers, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar ...more
Mark Bringman
Mar 24, 2016 Mark Bringman rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
I normally love Chabon. And to be honest the first and last story for me were a 3 and 4 respectively. But the rest were so depressing and sad, that even though the words were well crafted, I didn't enjoy it. To be honest, I finished it because it was a kindle book (and therefore part of my workout schedule).

If you want to read Chabon, the rest of his books are great. Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, Summerland, Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Yiddish Policeman's. This one didn't do it for me. I
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Phil
Aug 12, 2014 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-general
This collection of short stories is mostly fluff. Highly engagingly written fluff, but fluff nonetheless.

While Chabon has a reputation of being a little more plot-oriented than most modern capital-L Literary authors, most of the stories here are primarily character studies and little "slice of life" stories, many with a minor epiphany towards the end. Almost without exception, the protagonist harbors some sort of deep-seated resentment towards another character (embittered husbands abound in par
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Ryan
Jul 11, 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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Colin N.
Jul 25, 2011 Colin N. rated it liked it
An excellent collection of short stories. This was my first read of Chabon and I thought the writing was quite good and his rendering of fragile relationships realistic. If something could be said to tie these stories together it is that the protagonist in each is a confused man (or boy) whose relationships are strained.

"Werewolves in their Youth" perfectly captures the alienation and isolation of awkward adolescence and the difficulties of a child in navigating social cliques and the dissoluti
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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
...more
Katrina
May 30, 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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Tung
Mar 29, 2008 Tung rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
This is my third Chabon work and my second Chabon short story collection of the year. The book takes its title from the title of its first short stories, although there is no coherent theme that runs across these nine stories. Overall, I found it similar to the other short story collection (A Model World) – moments of brilliance brought down by moments of mediocrity. Out of these nine stories, I would classify two as amazing (“Werewolves in their Youth” and “Son of the Wolfman” which is the best ...more
Stephanie
Oct 04, 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
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.
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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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