Mike Lindgren's Reviews > Manhood for Amateurs

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
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Nov 03, 09

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in November, 2009

Thoughtful, perceptive and maybe just a little dull. A "liberal agnostic empiricist" who is "proud to be a semi-observant, bacon-eating Jew," Chabon offers accounts of grappling with the complexities of modern manhood -- from the dreaded "drug talk" with one's children to the double standards inherent in male parenting -- all propelled by the shimmering prose that won him the Pulitzer Prize. Chabon is not the first writer to find humor in feckless attempts at home improvement, but he is probably the only one capable of locating its source in Rudyard Kipling's "code of high-Victorian masculinity, in whose fragmentary shadow American men still come of age." As winning as Chabon's meditations are in these essays, many of which were first published in Details magazine, contrarians may detect a whiff of the much-loathed Hipster Dad persona, especially when he reveals that he and his son own matching vintage Dr. Who T-shirts (ouch). Chabon is so wise and generous-spirited that one occasionally wishes he would crack and come out in favor of schoolyard fisticuffs, say, or turning his son's future over to the Marine Corps.
--From the Washington Post, October 21, 2009
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message 1: by TK (new)

TK I for one would love to see Chabon just come out say something like, "Yes, Junior, it's true -- you are superior to everyone who isn't just like us." At least then I'd know he had a sense of humor.


Mike Lindgren ExACTly.


message 3: by Ray (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ray Mike-You've hit the nail on the head with this, esp. "Hipster Dad persona." I also don't like what I perceive to be his writing from a place of privelege; so much of what he writes here seems to be for a definite, select group of people.


Mike Lindgren " A select group of people " would be putting it mildly. :)




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