Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mongrels” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,590 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming-of-age story about an unusual boy, whose family lives on the fringe of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.

He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by William Morrow
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mongrels, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Will Byrnes
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright. - from The Wolf Man 1941
It’s hard out there for a wolf.

We’ve come a long way from the classic - from Vixens and

What did you want be? As children, we all have dreams of ourselves as adults. I started out, a West Bronx local in a very concrete world, wanting to be a forest ranger, later an astronaut, later still, an aeronautical engineer, with
Edward Lorn
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most human werewolf novel I've ever read.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great. I mean, there’s not a more succinct way to put it. G-R-E-A-T.

It’s a coming-of-age story about a young man who lives in a family of outlaw werewolves, and a chronicle of their travels across the impoverished and dangerous American South. I don’t know if that last sentence sells the book or not, but if it doesn't, FEAR NOT! The execution far surpasses the general conceit. This book is ENGAGING. I mean, I was rapt from the first few pages. There’s something poetic, yet effortle
I feel bad about it, but I'll say it anyway: Mongrels didn't work that well for me.

I listened to the audio and at first I thought it was the narrators that were my problem. After a while, though, I became accustomed to their voices and they were NOT my problem.

My problem was: I didn't like it. There it is. I believe I "got" what the author was trying to do and while I admire it, in the end it just didn't work for me.

I recommend you give this one a shot if the synopsis sounds interesting to you.
Book Riot Community
The best–the best— werewolf novel I have ever read. It’s a coming-of-age story of a young boy whose family lives on the fringes of society for several reasons: they’re brown, they’re poor, oh oh and also they’re werewolves constantly on the run from the law. Come for the heartbreak, the desperation, the superglue holding this family together; stay for the tidbits about lycanthrope daily life (like why they can never, ever wear pantyhose).

–Amanda Nelson

from The Best Books We Read In May 2016: htt
Glenn Rolfe
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story. Must-Read. Best of 2016

You know that feeling? The one where you’re immersed in a world where you’re not ready to leave? Where you are so involved in these characters lives that you need to stay…just a little bit longer. Where it can’t end! Not yet, not now! When you find a great novel, that’s exactly what happens. When I read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Traveling Vampire Show, ‘Salem’s Lot, Ghoul, Brave New World, and more recently, Midnight Rain and The Last Days of California, th
Benoit Lelièvre
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this novel, but I think it would've worked without the werewolf theme. It's weird. I've read a review on this book by Bob Pastorella stating it was one of the best werewolf novels ever written and I believe him, it's just that there might be an entire level of meaning I just didn't get from the book.

That said, I thought MONGRELS was a solid and original coming-of-age novel, because the werewolf angle is about growing up different and shaped by a strong culture. The family dynamic of the
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
It is always a treat to discover a novel that places new twists on old ideas. The werewolf novel has been around a long time and there really didn't seem to be much more one can say about the man-turns-wolf scenario. Yet Stephen Graham Jones doesn't just add a new twist but turns the entire concept on its head. In Mongrels we have a family of werewolves living as nomads in the south. The life of the modern day werewolf is grim, dreary and dangerous. Aunt Libby, Uncle Darren and their young nephe ...more
Frank Errington
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

Mongrels is a completely different kind of werewolf story, told from the point of view of a teenage werewolf who has yet to shift for the first time. In addition to facing the same issues teens everywhere must deal with, this one faces the uncertainty of when, or even if, he will ever change.

I love a good opening line and this one's a gem. "My grandfather used to tell me he was a werewolf." Tell me more.

Good literary horror is something to be appreciated, and when you combine that wit
I have read SGJ before and really liked his style, but this one just wasn't for me. The writing was choppy and hard to follow. While the premise was promising and the characters were mildly interesting, it ultimately fell flat for me. Bummer.
Not a plot-driven novel. Rather, it's a series of vignettes ranging over several years, related by the main character, who is part of a family of werewolves. Though, really, the main character is waiting to go through his first change into a werewolf. In the meantime, he, his aunt Libby and Uncle Darren move constantly, always trying to find a place to make some money and stay under the radar and safe. The three live on the edges of whatever small town they're in, and the main character spends m ...more
Damien Angelica Walters
This is my second favorite read of 2016 thus far. It's so much more than a werewolf story. It's about the strength of family, about being an outsider, about trying to stay safe in a world that will kill you because of who you are.
Kristen Burns
4.5 Stars

This. This was the werewolf book I'd been looking for. It was messed up and beautiful and brutal and touching and I loved it.

This was one of those books where the characters were so completely different from myself, their lives so different (and I love those kinds of books because they let me see through a whole new perspective). They didn't have enough money for food half the time and had to hunt it down or steal it. They bounced around from place to place, living in falling apa
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
(full review on my blog here:

There’s nothing new to say about werewolves. Silver bullets, pentagrams on the palm, sudden urges for rare steak, howling, full moon transformations, bloodthirsty beasts rampaging about. We’ve seen it all, right?

Well, think again. As Jones, veteran speculative fiction writer, shows, there’s plenty more to tell, plenty more waiting to burst through to the surface. And some of what we think we know might need to be rewritten.

Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Graham Jones has romped through a dizzying variety of genres in his novels and short fiction. Drama, crime, horror, science fiction, bizarro, and sometimes a strange mash-up of any or all of the above—the list of his chameleonic literary contributions goes on and on, with the common denominator being that he does it all really, really well.

In his latest novel, Mongrels, Mr. Jones takes a well-worn supernatural trope—the werewolf—and subsequently weaves a coming-of-age tale that is powerf
Kurt Dinan
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a small number of books I wish I could read again for the first time. Mongrels is now on that list. Jones does something special here, something risky and creative and brilliant that you just have to experience instead of me lessening it by trying to explain it to you. But I haven't read anything this fully formed and creative in a long, long time. It's humbling when you read something you know you never could have written, could never dream of writing, and Mongrels humbled me. Great, gre ...more
Berfin Kanat
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt adam öyküsü sevenler kaçırmasın! Okuduğum en gerçekçi kurt adam kurgusuydu. Mecburi göçebelikleri, maddi sıkıntılar, kan, çiğ et, koku hissi, kurt adam formundayken yaşadıkları, karakter ve ruh halleri... Böyle bir sürü detayla kanlı (fazlasıyla) canlı bir hikaye olmuş. Yazar kürk renklerinin koyu olmasını bile mantıklı bir gerekçeyle açıklamış, kurgudan zeka fışkırıyor!:d Hikayeye gerçekçilik katan detaylı anlatımlara bayılıyorum, Melezler'de bu bol bol var ve hiç sıkmıyor. Sanki gerçekten ...more
Shane Douglas Keene
***Excerpt from my review on Gingernuts of Horror***

Stephen Graham Jones' newest novel, Mongrels, is one of those works of fiction that, when you finish it, you have to take some time and compose your thoughts before writing about it. It's extraordinarily well written, which isn't surprising coming from Jones, and it has all the elements of a great story, also not surprising given the source, but those aren't the things that give you pause when talking ab
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This one did not work for me: I found it insipid to large extent because of the book's format as a series of disconnected stories. An interesting perspective on werewolves, following the plight of a family constantly crossing the southern U.S. to stay ahead of the law and hostile neighbors. Decent underlying themes, such as coming of age, being a societal outcast, and what constitutes animal versus human behavior, but I felt no connection with the characters.
The Grim Reader (
I've actually had this book on my Kindle for a long time. Reviews and other commitments have somehow managed to get in the way of me reading it. Finally, earlier this year I took time out from the review list and read something for me! This is something I will be doing a lot more of in the coming months.

Much has been written and said about this particular book, about just how good it is and I went in wondering if I would be as impressed as others. Well, it is safe to say that Mr Jones has delive
Ben Loory
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In all the stories and all the movies, there's human footprints walking along, becoming wolf prints at the end.

In the heaven of werewolves, there's just new grass folding back into place.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
I used to think Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth was the best werewolf book I'd ever read. Well, now it's at least tied for first.

This is werewolf fiction by way of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. It's a coming-of-age novel by way of the fucking Wolf Man. It's contemporary social commentary by way of Metallica-cum-To Kill a Mockingbird. And it's really goddamn well written.

Our protagonist (who I only realized in the last chapter is never named) is a young boy raised by his grandfather, aunt, and
My original Mongrels audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Mongrels  breathes new life into werewolves in fiction. Stepehen Graham Jones  sets a story in a real world with seemingly real people and real life situations. By the end of the book, I began thinking of werewolves as more plausible than bigfoot to some degree.  I think what has been lacking in werewolf related fiction is werewolves that fit into the real world.  Mongrels is the Salem's Lot of werewolf fict
Edward Rathke
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read an early draft of this a few years ago and loved it. Or, I came to love it. It had a very Stephen Graham Jones feel, which is all seduction. The kind you didn't know was happening, but it's easy to say that the old draft was weaker than what got published, and I'm so happy to finally read the final iteration.

Werewolves, man, there's so deep inside me. So much apart of my DNA as a kid and adult. I remember staying up late, just hoping to maybe howl at the moon and run out into it. All I ev
I think I'm now enough recovered from the emotional beating that this book gave me to review it. Let's go.

Mongrels follows a never-named narrator through his childhood memories of his family. In the opening chapter, he is eight, living with his aunt and uncle and grandpa, and although the latter outright claims to be a werewolf and tells him a lot of (usually violent and dramatic) stories about their family's nature, he isn't sure if any of it is real. He desperately wants it to be.

Despite the s
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Full Review at:

*I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

You know when you are really super-stoked about a book and then you read and its sort of 'meh'? And then you never quite know if its because you built it up in your own mind, or if it really not as great as expected or if the Universe is just punishing you for having the audacity to be excited over something? Such is the case here. Sadly this just didn't quite have the oomph
Terri Wino
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to both.

This is my first work by this author, and while I enjoyed the book for the most part, I found the jumping around in the time line very distracting in this particular story. I've read other books that do this; some worked for me, some didn't. This one, unfortunately, didn't.

As some other reviews have stated, this is more of a coming of age story about a young man who just happens to come from a famil
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was much younger than I am now, in the heyday of "Splatterpunk" I read a werewolf novel called "Animals" by John Skipp and Craig Spector. It was an amazing new take on the age old mythology of Werewolves. It's taken many years, but at long last, this book joins it by doing something new and amazing with Werewolf tropes. Very highly recommended, well done Mr Jones.
Kurt Baumeister
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

If you think the literary genera lupus literarus has been done, and done, and done into the ground it’s only because you haven’t seen what Stephen Graham Jones’s has to say about lycanthropy. Part fable, part coming-of-age story, his new novel, Mongrels, brings grim humor and a violent beauty to the semi-hallucinatory terrain occupied by America’s transitory underclass.

Always on the outside, constantly on the run, Jones’s “mongrels” dwell in a sort of socioeconomi
Angela Crawford
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mongrels is a coming of age horror story with teeth. Werewolves have always been my favorite monster so when I heard about this book I grabbed it (Thanks Frank!). I didn't really expect it to jump to the top of my favorite books list, but it did. I was hooked from the very first page of this phenomenal book and sad when my visit to this world came to an end. This gritty and realistic story is told from the point of view of The Boy, a child growing up in a family of destitute gypsy-like werewolve ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bloody Good Horror: May '17 Reading Schedule - Mongrels 15 24 May 30, 2017 04:24PM  
  • The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World
  • The Chosen Seed (The Dog-Faced Gods, #3)
  • The Complex
  • Day Boy
  • The Last Projector
  • Skullcrack City
  • Spore
  • Hissers
  • The Raft
  • Unforgettable
  • Experimental Film
  • The Wolf in the Attic
  • Bullettime
  • X's For Eyes
  • Little Heaven
  • The Black
  • Disappearance at Devil's Rock
  • By The Time We Leave Here, We’ll Be Friends
Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six collections. He really likes werewolves and slashers. Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado. It's a big change from the West Texas he grew up in. He's married with a couple kids, and probably one ...more

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Sanctuary (Nomad, #2)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Genome (The Extinction Files #2)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mechanica (Mechanica, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Wired (Wired, #1)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Bandwidth (An Analog Novel Book 1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Bees
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Land: Founding (Chaos Seeds, #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Gone (Gone, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Friday
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Dhalgren
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • Homeworld (Odyssey One, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Recurve (The Elemental Series, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Deviants (Dust Chronicles #1)
    $4.49 $0.99
  • Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Out of the Black (Odyssey One, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Menagerie
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Black Bird of the Gallows
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Heart of Matter (Odyssey One, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Lumière (The Illumination Paradox, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice, #12)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Obsidian Son (The Temple Chronicles, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • CyberStorm
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Departure
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Renegades (Renegades, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“If you’re not a beautiful monster, then you’re a villager,” 2 likes
“My grandfather used to tell me he was a werewolf. He’d” 0 likes
More quotes…