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This is a collection of Chabon's musings and writings about what it is to be a father, a son, and a man. The writing is thoughtful, lyrical, sometimes sad, sometimes beautiful, always worthwhile. I love the opening essay when he talks about his childhood attempts to start a comic convention and how his mother skilfully managed his emotions when only one other child turned up to the inaugural meeting. I loved the essay about his failure to understand his daughters through the snapshot of him sitting with his children at the kitchen table drawing. I loved everything about this book.
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on 8 March 2015
This can be a bit of a mixed bag at times...though definitely more goodies in here than duds. He is funny, introspective and deep. I enjoyed his descriptions of childhood and his attempts at fatherhood and he spoke very candidly and frank about his relationship with Foster Wallace and his subsequent suicide. He talks about his wife's problems with an astounding openness and tenderness that is genuinely palpable. Clearly a very smart and sensitive man with a lot of refreshing and tantalising insights.
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on 13 June 2010
It was very personal, spoke of how non of us really have a clue about what we are doing. I thought it was great.
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on 7 April 2011
I gave this to my husband for his birthday & he has not stopped raving about it. According to him, there are many moments in this book that have made him laugh, cry & moments he's completely identified with. Now he's finally finished it, I might read it. Watch this space!
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on 25 March 2012
A funny, insightful and personal book full of anecdotes and reflections about being a man, a son and a dad.
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on 3 June 2015
Great condition and better than described.
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on 9 April 2015
Michael Chabon is one of my favourite authors. I have read all of his fiction, laughing at all of his jokes in the right places, and full of admiration for his craft skills. I have given some of his books as gifts to close friends, adored Wonder Boys, Gentlemen of the Road, Kavalier and Clay, Yiddish Policemen's Union and best of all, Telegraph Avenue. So why do I so dislike this charmingly written but unrewarding loosely connected essays about being a man?

It's because Chabon hates being one. It is pretty obvious why. When his parents split up, Mike blamed his Dad. He has bought the whole feminist critique, hook line and sinker. For him, women are difficult to write because he can't bear offending them. Men, no problem. He hates men enough to be penetrating, funny, honest, etc. It's a bit like his Judaism - his masculinity is an embarrassment to him. He has never heard of, or will not accept misandry - or even the humanity of women. Men can be vile, aggressive, sexist, violent, cruel - the whole nine yards. Women can only be - you know, perfect. It sickens me, this male self-hatred, borne of extreme self criticism and denial of the flaws of a whole different gender, labeled misogyny.

This does not mean I did not enjoy large parts of this book. I found some of these short essays funny, insightful, well written, etc. But deep at the core of the book is a guilt about being a man I find repulsive.
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on 20 September 2011
Being English of a certain age I found all the references to Jewishness and American culture went over my head at times, but Michael Chabon has written what would have been called a collection of essays at one time, and which is a very thought-provoking challenge to assumed attitudes about the role of men in society. An enjoyable read in bite-size chunks.
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on 30 January 2014
Cringe worthy, self indulgent autobiographies with little deep insight. From an incredible fiction writer comes a dry, tasteless, and risk-free autobiography.
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