Manhood for Amateurs: Gay Guy/Straight Guy Book Read?

Straight Guy,

You're a reader, I'm a reader. What about we read something together and then blog about it?

If you're willing, I've found us something to start with-- Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, by Michael Chabon, which just came out this month.

Great title, right?

Michael Chabon is one of my favorite writers. I've read a number of his novels -- Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, and, best of all, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, for which Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2001. Kavalier & Clay is about a pair of World War II-era comic book artists, and it's on my Top Five books list. I just didn't want it to end.

The new Chabon work is a collection of essays, drawn from his own experiences.

Need help deciding? Watch an interview with Chabon from yesterday's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." Or read the New York Times review.

I like the book's title. I usually feel like a rogue amateur as a man. I just keep faking it until I find the manhood rule book hidden away somewhere. But I've been encouraged by Chabon's take on the word "amateur." It's in the clip.

Full disclosure: Chabon is married, but has had same-sex experiences in the past. Whatever. What matters is that his novels are well populated with gay characters. They were so well drawn and realistic that for a long time I had just assumed that he was gay.

Readers, what do you think of my new book scheme? Comment now and let us know.

--Gay Guy


Straight Guy said...

Sure. Sounds good. I have Cavalier and Clay, but never got my act together. We also had Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on our list, I gave it a try but the gimmick wasn't enough to get me past all of those British manners. Let me know when our copies come in.

another gay gay said...

This sounds like fun! I would love to hear your separate and combined takes on the book.

I agree that Chabon is a good writer. I don't know that he's in my top 5, but a good writer.

It's interesting to me that GG is so hot to read this book, since a lot of it seems to be about parenting, and, I assume, that GG is not a parent. (Is my ssumption correct?) Parenting is SG's area of expertise.

Or, is it that the themes of remorse and regret in relationships is so universal? Or that Chabon is such an important writer for you? Or that his eyes are so piercingly blue?

Your readers need answers, guys. Spill!

Straight in Upstate said...

Oh GG, I hope it's not piercing blue eyes. Literature always makes me uncomfortable (as opposed to just plain ritin') - the author photos remind me of album covers. Chabon seems to fit the type - tousled hair that took 45 minutes to create, etc. Having said that, I am both interested in reading the book and hearing y'all's thoughts.

The Expatresse said...

I always assumed Chabon was gay, too. I read Mysteries of Pittsburgh when I lived there (ages ago). I actually thought Wonder Boys was one of those rare books that makes a better movie.

Kathryn said...

Sure. Bring it on! You you guys write it, you know I shall read it.

JD at I Do Things said...

I love Michael Chabon, so if you're starting with one of his books, I'm definitely along for the ride. Loooooved "Kavalier & Clay," and, like you, didn't want it to end. I have "Gentlemen of the Road" on my nightstand, waiting to be read.

Maybe you'll read that so I don't have to?

(HI! I'm new here! Kathryn from "From the Inside . . . Out" sent me.)

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