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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,337 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Chabon Narrator: Michael Chabo Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Pulitzer Prize–winning author Michael Chabon offers his first major work of nonfiction, an autobiographical narrative as inventive, beautiful, and powerful as his acclaimed, award-winning fiction.

Manhood for Amateurs is the first sustained work of personal writing from Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of our most brilliant and humane writers presents his autobiography and his vision of life in the way so many of us experience our own: as a series of reflections, regrets and re-examinations, each sparked by an encounter, in the present, that holds some legacy of the past.

What does it mean to be a man today? As a devoted son, as a passionate husband, and above all as a father, Chabon’s memories—of childhood, of his parents’ marriage and divorce, of moments of painful adolescent comedy and giddy encounters with the popular art and literature of his own youth—are like a theme played by the mad quartet of which he now finds himself co-conductor.

At once dazzling, hilarious, and moving, Manhood for Amateurs is destined to become a classic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What makes this collection so melancholically pleasurable is not the modern-dad stuff but Chabon’s ready and vivid access to his own childhood.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “As in his novels, [Chabon] shifts gears easily between the comic and the melancholy, the whimsical and the serious, demonstrating once again his ability to write about the big subjects of love and memory and regret without falling prey to the Scylla and Charybdis of cynicism and sentimentality.” 

    New York Times

  • “Hilarious, moving, pleasurable, disturbing, transcendent, restless...Chabon...create[s] a composite image of ideal manhood, one that is modest, responsible, bemused, empathic, and thoughtful.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Chabon brings his prodigiously entertaining verbal intelligence to a very personal investigation of what it means to be a father, a son, and a husband.”


  • “The author creates a unique memoir by compiling individual essays...Chabon’s writing is blaringly honest, at times self-condemning, but always thought-provoking. There is sure to be at least one treasured essay for every reader of this book.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “An entertaining omnibus of opinionated essays...Candid, warm, and humorous, Chabon’s essays display his habitual attention to craft.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Whether reflecting on his role as son, brother, husband, or father, Chabon’s delightful essays are provocative and insightful...By turns poignant and witty, Chabon is a comfortable, inviting reader. His relaxed and conversational style is shot through with occasional fervent moments. He’s unhurried yet precise in his pacing and phrasing, and most of all likably, often ruefully, humorous.”


  • “Chabon takes a big, fat swing at the essay form with his second collection and achieves success...These warm and thoughtful essays underscore just how good a wordsmith Chabon is—regardless of the form he chooses.” 


  • “Both lyrical and side-splittingly funny...Readers seeking the intelligence of Updike; the gentle, brainy appeal of Sedaris; or the literary virtuosity of Nabokov will thoroughly enjoy.”

    Library Journal

  • “Wry and heartfelt, Chabon’s riffs uncover brand-new insights in even the most quotidian subjects...He applies an unusual level of wit and candor to the form.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2009 Indie Next List
  • A 2010 Audie Award Finalist
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2009 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lee Petrie-springer | 2/18/2014

    " Brilliant writing, wonderful insights, funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa | 2/5/2014

    " I would like to go back to the time before I knew Michael Chabon had a rudimentary third nipple. Twice, he mentioned this. Twice! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Brooke | 2/4/2014

    " Chabon is an incredibly talented writer, and I was so struck by his turn of phrase at various points; however, the book did not grab me. I was thoroughly looking forward to hear him reflect on fatherhood which he does quite poignantly at moments, but other parts were just not my cup of tea. I know he has his comic book obsession, and that is not my speed so I skipped those sections, but I still didn't connect with the book as I had hoped. I realize it is specifically about "manhood" and therefore, perhaps I was not the audience. The very first essay was brilliant and had me laughing out loud and really thinking, but it didn't sustain that pace for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Heather | 2/2/2014

    " Thoughtful and full of sentences that were so beautifully constructed that I had to re-read them again. This book of essays was pure Michael Chabon. "

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