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Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories

Chabon, Michael

4,416 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679415874 / ISBN 13: 9780679415879
Published by Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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Bump to leading edge of pages, else Fine in an Fine unclipped dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 002675

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories

Publisher: Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In this superb book by Michael Chabon, called by Jonathan Yardley "the young star of American letters," the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us nine stunning short stories. Beautifully crafted, powerful in its impact, Werewolves in Their Youth takes us into the hearts and lives of young people and people in midlife caught at emotional moments of turning point and change. Brilliant, frightening, funny, these stories are shot through with Chabon's unique vision and uncanny understanding of our mysteries and nightmares, hilarity and pain.
        
In the opening story, "Werewolves in Their Youth," a boy attempts to help a troubled classmate, only to uncover the even more perplexing troubles of the adults around them. In "House Hunting," a young couple mend their strained relationship during an appointment with a strange real estate broker. In the collection's chilling final story, "In the Black Mill," a student archaeologist travels to a small American city to conduct his fieldwork, and finds himself investigating the mysterious fates of the inhabitants.
        
The brilliance of an astonishing American talent is everywhere apparent in Werewolves in Their Youth.

Review:

Wonder boy Michael Chabon's second collection of stories tackles the American family in all its tragic and often frighteningly funny dysfunction. In the title story, a self-professed "King of the Retards" tries to distance himself from his next-door neighbor and only friend, who has taken their games (Plastic Man, Titanium Man, Matter-Eater Lad) just a little too far. In "House Hunting," a drunk real-estate agent shows a young couple through a house far too expensive for them, pocketing knickknacks and demonstrating a strange familiarity with its rooms. The wrenching "Son of the Wolfman" follows the aftermath of a rape; after a long struggle to conceive, Cara Glanzman becomes pregnant by her rapist and decides to keep the child, even as her husband struggles with his violent thoughts. In spite of the potential for sensationalism in such a plot, "Wolfman" is moving, unsentimental, and like the rest of these tales, wholly original.

Chabon is a master of the lively and unexpected description, his prose studded with images that split these mostly conventionally themed stories wide open. Consider his burly Quebecois carpenter, who has "a face that looked as if it had been carved with a pneumatic drill by a tiny workman dangling from the sheer granite cliff of Olivier's forehead." Or the "local drunks" of a Chubb Island bar, "a close-knit population, involved in an ongoing collective enterprise: the building, over several generations, of a basilica of failure, on whose crowded friezes they figured in vivid depictions of bankruptcy, drug rehabilitation, softball, and arrest." Or, the narrator of "Mrs. Box" and his failed marriage: "...very soon they had been forced to confront the failure of an expedition for which they had set out remarkably ill-equipped, like a couple of trans-Arctic travelers who through lack of preparation find themselves stranded and are forced to eat their dogs." Werewolves in Their Youth is worth reading for such moments alone. When Chabon uses them to illuminate our darkest impulses and fears, the result is often revelatory.

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