Jesse Bacon's Reviews > Manhood for Amateurs

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
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U 50x66
's review
Nov 24, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2009

From the impressive cover to the "adventures for boys" style binding, Chabon again reimagines a genre, a long way from "Dangerous Books for Boys." or maybe just the literary version his paens to the Wilderness of Childhood make it clear that he views the loss of "uncolonized" by adult space as a far greater threat to children than obesity.
Every one of these essays, despite me being fifteen years younger than Chabon, had the ache of recognition. I differed in only a few places, a foreign experience for me with a fatherhood book. I loved most of all the scene in a Berkeley grocery store probably not unlike my own coop where a woman tells Chabon "You are a good dad, I can tell." His thoughtfu and profane essay response was great resource for me in such encounters, I only wish he had interrogated motherhood a bit more than praising its relentless anxiety. The book does wear thin when he moves more into the present, though the valentines to his wife are sweet. When he finally lapses into "go ask your mother cliche" at his daughter's sexuality we are as disappointed as he is.

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