Title: Manhood for Amateurs
Author: Michael Chabon
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Genre: Non-fiction, Essays
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In this collection of essays, Michael Chabon tackles the meaning of manhood from the point of view of a father, a son, an adult, and a child.
Though I’d never read anything by Michael Chabon prior to Manhood for Amateurs, I immediately knew that I wanted to read this book. First, I thought these essays would introduce me to his writing style and help determine whether I wanted to pick up any of his other works (I definitely do). Second, I thought the premise was really interesting, especially to read it from a woman’s point of view.
Though Manhood for Amateurs is about being a man, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t appeal to women. Each of these essays is well-written, impeccably crafted, and incredibly amusing. My favorite essay was one in which Chabon discussed when a woman came up to him in the grocery store, where he was shopping with his son, and told him she just could tell he was a great father. Chabon discusses the double standard – women must be supermoms, and even then someone won’t come up to them and compliment their mothering skills. However, all he has to do is show up with his son in the grocery store and all of a sudden, he’s father of the year. Chabon goes on to say that he quite enjoys this double standard. It’s compelling, funny, and entirely honest.
Manhood for Amateurs would make a perfect gift for a dad or dad-to-be. Some of these essays are so heartfelt, they will move the reader to tears while simultaneously making them laugh. Chabon is just an amazing author with an incredible amount of talent. Reading this essay collection made me sad that I haven’t read his other works – I feel like I have been missing out on a literary genius.
I highly recommend Manhood for Amateurs, regardless of your age or sex. This is one of those books that will appeal to virtually anyone. Though most of these essays have been published previously, it’s worth picking up this book to have them all in one place!