Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Review: Werewolves in their Youth

This one sounds appropriate for Halloween two weeks ago but the werewolves are figurative.  Though every Republican asshole who talks about rape and abortion should read the one story.

Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories by Michael Chabon
(5/5 stars)

This is a superior collection of stories to Chabon's earlier "Model World". While the first half of that collection all seemed like carbon copies of each other, "Werewolves"--though each story centers around a marriage that has either fallen apart or is in the process of falling apart--has enough variety that reading all the stories back-to-back does not become tedious.

"Son of the Wolfman", where a woman who has been having trouble conceiving with her husband is raped and impreganated by another man, is the most memorable story because of the issues it deals with. All the other stories are good as well--I won't go into describing each and every one. "The Black Mill" is an interesting little horror yarn, but it's pretty tame by today's standards. I'd suggest Chabon stick with the genre he knows best.

There's not a lot to pick on with this collection of stories. The writing is flawless, the characters are all unique oddballs, and the stories are all interesting. One thing I grew tired of was the constant description of what every room looks like and every person is wearing. A lot of description can add to the atmosphere of the scene and such, but going into what everyone is wearing is irrelevant and becomes tedious after a while.

Anyway, "Werewolves" is howlingly good collection of stories (thank you, I'll be here all week) that I would recommend over "Model World". But I still prefer his novels.


  1. "unique oddballs"
    Sounds like this is right up my alley!

  2. I think I read a Chabon book, but I'm not sure. I'd have to go look again and see what he wrote. It's a pretty good life I've got, where I'm able to read enough that I can't remember everything I've ever read -- but it's not saying much for his work if I can't remember that I read it.

    I'm not sure I care for collections of short stories that all have some theme in common. Notwithstanding that I will eventually collect up all my 250-word stories, they're all very different in tone, subject, etc. Like you suggested here, building around a theme can make the stories too interchangeable, like if you dated nothing but superhot blond Swedish models.

    (I'm trying my hand at Andrew-style parables. I think that one was better.)

  3. I WAS going to spend today listening to "I Love It", my 10,000-song song, and commenting on that as I went, but on the 4th time through my paralegal came in and asked if I wouldn't mind picking a different song because SHE doesn't want to hear it 10,000 times. So I listened to "Graphology" by Olivia Mancini & The Mates as I read your post. I think it added to the atmosphere.

  4. @Briane: You should just fire her. You're the boss. Command her to listen to the song!

  5. Five out of five stars is a stellar review. These stories must be very good.

  6. Thanks, am I getting him confused with someone else when I say he's the guy that wrote the John Carter movie? That's Chabon, right? Anyway, good to know, I'm going to give him another chance I think. I decided after the Yiddish Policeman's Union that he wasn't for me, but maybe I can appreciate something from him more now.

  7. Chabon is a favorite. He could easily have my my Ode list.

  8. Interesting. Werewolves aren't typically my thing, but with the worthy rating you've given, it may be worth looking into! :)



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