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Hunter's Moon: A Novel in Stories

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  99 reviews
From the author of A Rumor of War, The Longest Road, and Some Rise By Sin, a captivating mosaic of stories set in a small town where no act is private and the past is never really past.

Hunter’s Moon is set in Michigan’s wild, starkly beautiful Upper Peninsula, where a cast of recurring characters move into and out of each other’s lives, building friendships, facing loss, c
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Angela M
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a beautiful place where men come to hunt grouse, deer, and caribou, or to fish, but the men who come here carry more than their hunting gear and sometimes come looking for more than wildlife. Some carry the burden of alcoholism, some are fathers and sons who are distanced with broken relationships that in ways seem irreparable, some are carrying the burden of war, another is an angry murderer. This is mostly about men, but one of the stories is about a woman wh
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life, fiction, netgalley
Fair warning to those who are disturbed by detailed accounts of hunting: there are a lot of passages depicting wildlife being stalked and killed. I think this is important for readers to know before they purchase this book; however, there’s a danger in stating this, as well. If I had realized how much of the book revolves around these things, I probably wouldn’t have read it, not because I’m squeamish or am so adamantly against hunting. It just doesn’t interest me that much. But if I hadn’t read ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a ‘guy’s book’ that takes place largely in the northern hardwood forest of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This excellently written collection of linked stories is about damaged middle-aged men. Caputo captures the emotional truth of these men. Many of the stories revolve around the bonding men enjoy while hunting together with their well-trained bird dogs. The outdoors helps these men heal from the traumas, hurts, and disappointments of their everyday lives.

Middle-aged Jeffery Havlicek brin
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the interconnected stories of this book. Philip Caputo is a master storyteller who can put nature, masculinity, grief, endurance and adventure in beautifully shaped paragraphs. I love the sense of a land (the UP) I didn't know, and, as a woman, I love seeing a man talk about middle-aged guys without self-pity or macho bullshit. These are men with bruises and scars, many of them Vietnam vets, and their friends take care of them, and love them, tenderly. Like all men in this patriarchal wor ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I am not sure I was the right audience for this book. These were short stories that all intertwined. But there was a lot of graphic hunting. Now I will say, I am from the south, and I grew up in household where my father went hunting. I am just not sure I wanted to read all the in depth thoughts and graphic details.

With all that being said, I can still understand good writing and a fantastic job of weaving stories together to form one cohesive unit.

3.5 stars for me.

Thank you to NetGalley, the
Hannah // Book Nerd Native
I really wanted to love this book that was set in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. As a Michigander myself, I really wanted to connect to the landscape and the characters in this story. I honestly think that this book is just more geared towards a male audience. I had such a hard time feeling for the main characters, and the descriptions of the wilderness seemed so flat and lifeless to me. Unfortunately this one was just not a book that I could get into, which was such a bummer!

*Thank you so much N
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Rating books on Goodreads is difficult since the stars don't allow one to differentiate a book "liked" from one well constructed and written but still not enjoyed. The latter type would be my rating of Caputo's hunting stories. Having grown up in the Upper Peninsula, I was looking forward to some insights into the lives of men who live there. Instead, the men were "below the bridge" guys who come to the UP to hunt and bring their hangups with them. The place played almost no part except as a wil ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Described as a "mosaic of stories," Hunter's Moon is primarily about men hunting within and without. Many stories feature hunting expeditions and unresolved issues between fathers and sons, and there are several recurring characters whose arcs are fleshed out and completed, and as with most short stories, there are some that remain incomplete. The characters are primarily male, but there is one strong exception, one story in which a woman truly comes into her own.

Philip Caputo, like Tim O'Brien
Excellent writing.. made me weep at times..
Doug Gordon
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Being from Michigan, the author almost lost me on the 2nd page when one of the characters talks about "having sodas instead of wine for dinner." Soda?? In Michigan we do NOT drink "soda," we drink "pop!" So much for local research. After that there were no more major gaffes and I'll grant him poetic license to be a bit loose with U.P. geography. FYI, from various references, I began to identify the fictitious town of "Vieux Desert" in the book with Grand Marais, which is in about the right posit ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
There isn't enough contemporary fiction geared towards the male audience and that is why I think books like this are important.
I couldn't connect to any of the characters and this is going to sound weird but I could connect to the issues surrounding the characters. Maybe I'm just going through something in my life that had me more focused on the sentiments.

To address the hunting descriptions-
I used to go hunting but haven't done so for quite some time. I had read someone's review that stated
Tonstant Weader
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hunter’s Moon is a collection of short stories centered on an Upper Peninsula community that is oriented toward hunting and fishing tourism. Characters from one story show up in another, tying them together in a a novelistic anthology. The first story, “Blockers,” has three middle-aged men coming together to go game bird hunting, keeping their high school friendship alive, but the high school golden boy is drinking too much and his wife have tasked the others to keep an eye on him and sneak some ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
If Philip Caputo were a woman and the characters in his book of interrelated short stories were primarily women instead of men, “Hunter’s Moon” would be ghettoized as “women’s fiction,” because the men in it wrestle with the kinds of emotional issues—broken marriages, parenting challenges, PTSD, friendship in late middle age—that are hallmarks of that so-called genre. Luckily for him, Caputo’s book won’t be designated as primarily for men, which is a good thing because I (a woman who has never t ...more
Crystal Hicks
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I read the intros to a handful of reviews of this book as I couldn’t get a clear picture from the title and cover of what kind of book this would be. The reviews cited a preponderance of male characters and scenes of hunting. While they’re not wrong, I didn’t find those features to detract from the book, as the other reviews implied. Multiple stories, loosely connected to a single place, but not a specific time, build a connected community of individuals with lives that are dramatic or quiet by ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
The subtitle of this book: A Novel in Stories, is a clue to look for the underlying connective narrative of seven individual stories, sometimes linked by characters who appear more than once. They largely take place in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and environs, which are depicted as sometimes menacing northern woods, pick up trucks and hunting. There is a disturbing underlying theme of the damage to both individuals and families of seemingly endless wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan).
John Machata
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wonderful collage of stories effectively bringing the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a hunter's view of the world, life in wooded North Country wilderness, legacies of the Vietnam War, small town America and tender emotional intimacies between real life characters. A very good read.
Vicky Foltz
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Being from Wisconsin and having spent time in the UP, his descriptive prose is beautiful and accurate. The characters in these related short stories are well-developed and I cared about them all.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnk, giveaways
It was okay. I would give it 1.5 stars and am rounding up. I couldn't get much of a feel for the characters and that left me with a detached feeling. The writing was fine, I just could not get into it.
Bonnye Reed
Hunter's Moon is a collection of eight shorts all set in and around the small community of Manitou Falls and the scarcely populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The major participants - Will Treadwell, Tom Muhlen and Paul Egremont - are all middle-aged Manitou natives and have much in common - they played football in high school, fought the war in Vietnam and brought home trama, a touch of psychosis, and nightmares. They all function best when they have independence at work and at home. The basi ...more
Regan Olson
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed! -Even by a non-hunting, non-military female who happened to grow-up in the U.P.
Willow Croft
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Book Review: Hunter's Moon by Philip Caputo

Well, of course, I read his A Rumor of War in history graduate school. So, I was excited to receive a copy of Hunter's Moon: A Novel in Stories in a giveaway hosted via Goodreads.

Not to stereotype, but I'm pretty sure I'm not Caputo's target audience. A) I'm vegetarian B) If it were the zombie apocalypse, I'm pretty sure I would starve to death rather than hunt (and eat) one of my beloved animal friends.

But who knows what you would do in that scenario t
Jes Jones
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
* I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaway *

Hunter's Moon is a novel compromised of a collection of stories with the thread of reoccurring characters. Each of the stories discuss various difficulties that people face on a regular basis. From battling depression and suicidal thoughts to war stories that have shaped the way we view the world, the author offers us insight into how these issues can be navigated and communicated.

Many of the stories have a slow build while the charact
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 but rounding up because well written, I learned some things [mostly about hunting], and not my usual reading material. Matter of fact, I thought this book quite male centric.

The setting: Michigan's Upper Peninsula, "...where a cast of recurring characters move into and out of each other’s lives, building friendships, facing loss, confronting violence, trying to bury the past or seeking to unearth it."

So though interconnected stories--w
Barry Martin Vass
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This is a series of interrelated short stories about life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Located on the northern tip of Michigan between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, with Wisconsin to the west, the U.P. is a wild and rugged slash of land that, if Alaska hadn't dubbed itself The Last Frontier in its state slogan, would surely have adopted that designation. Simply put: you'd never want to live and work in the U.P. unless you were a loner and had a number of survivalist tendencies. O ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-winner
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway, and i think the author and publisher for the opportunity to read and review it.

I was drawn to this book because it’s set in my home state, Michigan. I don’t spend as much time in the UP as i once did, and it was nice to go back through these stories. The author captured the remoteness of the setting and the personalities of the people that gravitate there well.

This book was interesting because it was really a set of short stories with characters that appe
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gem of a little book. Three men, Paul--an MSU English professor; Tom--an Ingham Co. prosecutor; & Bill--a small time newspaper publisher; played football together in high school. They are meeting at Bill's house for an annual hunting trip. Gus, Bill's father who is dying from liver cancer is going along on the trip which is guided by Will Treadwell who owns a local watering hole in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Caputo develops all the characters and each chapter is tied to at least one of t ...more
Robert McTague
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm an unapologetic Caputo fan, so perhaps I'm biased. This work is actually a series of short stories--related, but only partially sequential and interwoven. But I compare this to Acts of Faith...yes, there are traces of the same writer, but it's such a different work, in worlds apart. UP Michigan is one of the few places in the US I haven't been (Alaska, also in the book, is the other) and yet I feel I've been there after reading. Great imagery of that area, and a strong sense of what makes it ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a book of 7 stories, interconnected by characters , guns, inner demons, and fighting to deal with them! I am not usually a fan of short stories but I am a fan of Philip Caputo. All of the stories take place in Michigan’s upper peninsula, a place of wildness, beauty and water, where my husband I visited last year for the first time.
All of the characters are trying to deal with their past, whether it was a decision they made, a relationship they didn’t nurture, a choice they regretted, a h
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely moving, tragic stories about men and their struggles to navigate the paths (or lack thereof) through middle-age, addiction and changing friendships, many of these going back to high school or combat in Vietnam. The Upper Penninsula of Michigan has never been better captured, especially the bleak little towns of Seney. Lots of hunting and nature scenarios allow Caputo's characters to either find solace in the wilderness or end up in precarious situations. Whether they be the babysitting ...more
Sam Sattler
A Philip Caputo novel can always be counted on as an opportunity to get deeply inside the heads of some interesting fictional characters, a chance to remind ourselves about what makes people in the real world - including ourselves - tick. Even though some readers may still want to quibble over whether or not Hunter’s Moon is a novel or a collection of short stories despite the fact that the book explicitly labels itself "a novel in stories," there is definitely plenty to learn about human nature ...more
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American author and journalist. Author of 17 books, including the new HUNTER’S MOON: A Novel in Stories. Best known for A Rumor of War, a best-selling memoir of his experiences during the Vietnam War. Website:

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