Mongrels

Mongrels By Stephen Graham Jones is a Book Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels an

Mongrels By Stephen Graham Jones is a Book Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six collections He really likes werewolves and slashers Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado It s a big change from the West Texas he grew up in He s married with a couple kids, and probably one too many trucks.. A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming of age story about an unusual boy, whose family lives on the fringe of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a societyA spellbinding and darkly humorous coming of age story about an unusual boy, whose family lives on the fringe of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late night exits and narrow escapes always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will finally know if their nephew is like them or not And the close calls they ve been running from for so long are catching up fast now Everything is about to change.A compelling and fascinating journey, Mongrels alternates between past and present to create an unforgettable portrait of a boy trying to understand his family and his place in a complex and unforgiving world A smart and innovative story funny, bloody, raw, and real told in a rhythmic voice full of heart, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, novel that illuminates the challenges and tender joys of a life beyond the ordinary in a bold and imaginative new way.. A viral Kindle Mongrels Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright. - from The Wolf Man 1941It’s hard out there for a wolf. We’ve come a long way from the classic - from Vixens and Monster.tumblr.comWhat did you want be? As children, we all have dreams of ourselves as adults. I started out, a West Bronx local in a very concrete world, wanting to be a forest ranger, later an astronaut, later still, an aeronautical engineer, with the usual adolescent rock star fantasy tossed in. I imagine most of us had dreams well within the range of reasonable human experience and fantasy, whether or not we ever saw them through to fruition. The narrator of Mongrels, being raised by his aunt Libby, uncle Darren and his grandfather, dreams of growing up to be like them. I guess many of us want to be like the adults who raise us. Libby, Darren and Grandpa, however, are werewolves.werewolves, they’ve always been where it’s at for me. I remember being twelve, living way out in the country, and creeping up from my bed after lights out and pressing my forehead to the cold glass, so I could watch the darkness for werewolves. I had no doubt at all that they were running in these fast clockwise circles around our house. And that if I quit watching even for a blink, then they were coming in for us. So I’ve been thinking on the werewolf for a long time, now. I’ve been watching for them. What always interested me most about them, though, after the teeth and claws and transformations, it was the day to day difficulties of being a different, maligned species. How to explain why your pants keep being ripped up? Why does your friend’s dog run yelping away when you walk up? I spent a lot of my twelfth year trying to become a werewolf—maybe because I knew I could never beat them, so I might as well get out there and run with them. But nothing ever took. So, Mongrels, it’s as close as I can get, I suppose - from Muzzlepress interviewMongrels is a magnificent imagining of what it might look like if werewolves were really padding around in the 21st century American South. No effete vampires here. This is very much a working class wolf world, bloody, desperate, fearful, primitive. Stephen Graham JonesJones tells his story in eighteen chapters that wander in time and location. The narrator is a never-named boy (well, a teacher addresses him by a name, but we assume it to be a temporary, not a true one) we watch through his growth from age eight to sixteen, (although not in chronological order) the age by which those whose DNA is of the tooth and claw variety usually manifest their nature. He yearns for the change, even though there is no guarantee that it will happen for him. Jones indulges in a bit of cuteness by referring to his narrator as the vampire in one chapter, the reporter in another, the biologist in a third, and so on. It’s pretty adorable, and works in a way to counterpoint delight and bloodiness. I was reminded of Joe Hill’s The Fireman, which employs a similar technique.An American Werewolf in London raised the bar for cinematic ch-ch-changes This is a peripatetic pack, more itinerant than territorial, always trying to keep one step ahead of suspicious neighbors and inquisitive law enforcement. They are very tough on the vehicles they somehow keep acquiring. And if you had the misfortune of renting a residence to them you will be making full use of the security deposit for cleanup after they leave. Much of the fun in the book lies in the many specifics of werewolf existence. For example, Werewolves are paranoid about having dog breath, are always brushing their teeth and chewing mints.Some of the details are fascinating. Proper change attire is of great and surprising importance. Mating with a human does not bode well for a non-lycan woman who does not hew to the safety first mantra. Silver is considered. Education is primarily through TV game shows and family tales that may or may not have germs of truth. One thing it is not is at all glamorous. They encounter various sorts in their travels, WW wannabees, a stalker, an exploitive businessman who sees economic opportunity in milking a captive lycan to enhance his profit margins. While there may be no pentagrams, an angry mob with actual torches and pitchforks puts in an appearance that is part alarming, and part comedic. Famous characters from American history are brought into the moonlight for a new look, and are guaranteed to make you bare your teeth, in a good way. The family banter gets hilarious on occasion (well, I thought it was pretty funny, anyway) Just when I thought I’d figured out what made a girlfriend happy, what would make one stay, I would do something wrong again and that would be that.“Something wrong, like, I don’t know, like eating their pet goat?” Libby said, without looking over from the game show glowing all our faces light blue.The initiative for writing this book came from an unusual source. Back in 2008 or so, I last-minute got asked to teach an open-topic Genre course. Like, the week before the semester. So I said sure—if I could teach zombies. Which I did for two or three or four years. Loved it. But then I wanted something different, so I proposed my heart’s true love, the werewolf. And it got approved, and I got some funds to buy up werewolf books and movies. So, cue the avalanche of texts here. It hit early in December of 2013, and I read about a werewolf book every two days, I imagine, and was watching movies deep into every night. My deadline was December 31st, too, so I shut down the course prep then. But my mind, it wouldn’t stop spinning with all this. So, on January 1st, my fingers twitching like they were going to pop claws, I sat down at the keyboard, started Mongrels, and had a solid draft of it down by the time the semester started. - from the Muzzlepress interviewIf you have issues with violence, or with creatures small and not so small coming to bloody ends, Mongrels is definitely not the right kibble for you. There is a considerable body count, people and critters. If you are expecting a straight-up fright-fest, I suppose there are things in here that might make the fur hair on the back of your hands neck stand up. I lost no sleep after reading this, but I tend not to keep my head under the covers after reading a horror book most of the time anyway, so that doesn’t really say much. I have felt a lot more fear about the well-armed masses of the paranoid and twitchy who are locked and loaded across our great nation, and of blustering authoritarian wannabes than I ever will be of shape-shifting migrant workers driving crappy cars and watching too much tube. But therein lies the great value of Mongrels. If you look past the tooth and claw you will pick up the scent of underlying content. As with the folks under the scope here, there are two levels. The wolfy thing, and then the irresistible portrayal of people, any people, on the fringes of society. I was reminded of Willy Vlautin, who also writes of working class people struggling to survive in a challenging world. There is even a Steinbeckian fragrance your enhanced olfactory sense will probably pick up. I am sure you have your own favorite authors who hunt in those woods.How can you ever get ahead if you are always on the move? How can you get an education if you have to leave every school because the cops are starting to close in? How can you stay in one place, even without doing the changing thing, if it is only a matter of time before your true nature is revealed, and you are shunned or worse by polite society? Whether that shunning is because you are devouring the local livestock or because you are just, however proper your behavior, not considered the right sort of people. You can bet someone would love to build a wall to keep those people out. Heeeeeeeere’s WolfieThe turf Jones writes of here is familiar, as he has personally traveled it a fair bit.”We farmed, but we didn’t make our living off of farming,” he explains. “My mom ran daycare, or she would work at a tanning salon. Just all kinds of jobs. My different stepdads would work construction or in the oil fields. We always would come back to the same farming community in Greenwood, but that was just the place we’d bounce off of before going somewhere else. We always had a horse trailer that we’d pack bags and boxes in and go.” - from the Westword interviewSo, bottom line is that we likee the lycans. Yeah, Mongrels may not be all that scary, but it is very smart, particularly in the imagining of WW-life details. It has something to say about class and society, and it is a lot of fun. It may not force you to shift your shape, even if you read it during a full moon, but Mongrels is delightful enough to warrant more than a few joyful howls, and if you get the urge to dine on a neighbor’s livestock after reading it, or even your neighbor, for that matter, at least you will know that you are probably not alone. Mongrels is a real treat.Review Posted – 6/24/16Publication Date – 5/10/16=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pagesInterviews-----Muzzleland Press -CUT MY FINGERTIPS, THEY BLEED TEXAS: AN INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES ON HIS NEW NOVEL MONGRELS - by Jonathan R-----from Westword - With Mongrels, This Is Stephen Graham Jones's Time to Howl - by Jason HellerAvideo on writingby SGJI only want a trim, not a cut, ok?I absolutely had to include this link, so kitschy, so 80s, so un-lupine

About Author

  1. Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six collections He really likes werewolves and slashers Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado It s a big change from the West Texas he grew up in He s married with a couple kids, and probably one too many trucks.

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Mongrels Comment

  1. Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright from The Wolf Man 1941It s hard out there for a wolf We ve come a long way from the classic from Vixens and Monster.tumblrWhat did you want be As children, we all have dreams of ourselves as adults I started out, a West Bronx local in a very concrete world, wanting to be a forest ranger, later an astronaut, later still, an aeronautical engineer, with the usual ad [...]



  2. This book was great I mean, there s not a succinct way to put it G R E A T.It s a coming of age story about a young man who lives in a family of outlaw werewolves, and a chronicle of their travels across the impoverished and dangerous American South I don t know if that last sentence sells the book or not, but if it doesn t, FEAR NOT The execution far surpasses the general conceit This book is ENGAGING I mean, I was rapt from the first few pages There s something poetic, yet effortless, in the [...]


  3. I feel bad about it, but I ll say it anyway Mongrels didn t work that well for me.I listened to the audio and at first I thought it was the narrators that were my problem After a while, though, I became accustomed to their voices and they were NOT my problem.My problem was I didn t like it There it is I believe I got what the author was trying to do and while I admire it, in the end it just didn t work for me I recommend you give this one a shot if the synopsis sounds interesting to you It was w [...]


  4. The best the best werewolf novel I have ever read It s a coming of age story of a young boy whose family lives on the fringes of society for several reasons they re brown, they re poor, oh oh and also they re werewolves constantly on the run from the law Come for the heartbreak, the desperation, the superglue holding this family together stay for the tidbits about lycanthrope daily life like why they can never, ever wear pantyhose Amanda Nelsonfrom The Best Books We Read In May 2016 bookriot 201 [...]


  5. Amazing story Must Read Best of 2016You know that feeling The one where you re immersed in a world where you re not ready to leave Where you are so involved in these characters lives that you need to stay just a little bit longer Where it can t end Not yet, not now When you find a great novel, that s exactly what happens When I read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Traveling Vampire Show, Salem s Lot, Ghoul, Brave New World, and recently, Midnight Rain and The Last Days of California, that s what hap [...]


  6. I liked this novel, but I think it would ve worked without the werewolf theme It s weird I ve read a review on this book by Bob Pastorella stating it was one of the best werewolf novels ever written and I believe him, it s just that there might be an entire level of meaning I just didn t get from the book.That said, I thought MONGRELS was a solid and original coming of age novel, because the werewolf angle is about growing up different and shaped by a strong culture The family dynamic of the you [...]


  7. It is always a treat to discover a novel that places new twists on old ideas The werewolf novel has been around a long time and there really didn t seem to be much one can say about the man turns wolf scenario Yet Stephen Graham Jones doesn t just add a new twist but turns the entire concept on its head In Mongrels we have a family of werewolves living as nomads in the south The life of the modern day werewolf is grim, dreary and dangerous Aunt Libby, Uncle Darren and their young nephew live li [...]


  8. Review copyMongrels is a completely different kind of werewolf story, told from the point of view of a teenage werewolf who has yet to shift for the first time In addition to facing the same issues teens everywhere must deal with, this one faces the uncertainty of when, or even if, he will ever change.I love a good opening line and this one s a gem My grandfather used to tell me he was a werewolf Tell me .Good literary horror is something to be appreciated, and when you combine that with werewol [...]


  9. I have read SGJ before and really liked his style, but this one just wasn t for me The writing was choppy and hard to follow While the premise was promising and the characters were mildly interesting, it ultimately fell flat for me Bummer.


  10. This is my second favorite read of 2016 thus far It s so much than a werewolf story It s about the strength of family, about being an outsider, about trying to stay safe in a world that will kill you because of who you are.


  11. Stephen Graham Jones has romped through a dizzying variety of genres in his novels and short fiction Drama, crime, horror, science fiction, bizarro, and sometimes a strange mash up of any or all of the above the list of his chameleonic literary contributions goes on and on, with the common denominator being that he does it all really, really well.In his latest novel, Mongrels, Mr Jones takes a well worn supernatural trope the werewolf and subsequently weaves a coming of age tale that is powerful [...]


  12. I have a small number of books I wish I could read again for the first time Mongrels is now on that list Jones does something special here, something risky and creative and brilliant that you just have to experience instead of me lessening it by trying to explain it to you But I haven t read anything this fully formed and creative in a long, long time It s humbling when you read something you know you never could have written, could never dream of writing, and Mongrels humbled me Great, great, g [...]


  13. full review on my blog here shelfstalker.weebly shelf There s nothing new to say about werewolves Silver bullets, pentagrams on the palm, sudden urges for rare steak, howling, full moon transformations, bloodthirsty beasts rampaging about We ve seen it all, right Well, think again As Jones, veteran speculative fiction writer, shows, there s plenty to tell, plenty waiting to burst through to the surface And some of what we think we know might need to be rewritten.Of course you don t believe in [...]


  14. Excerpt from my review on Gingernuts of Horror gingernutsofhorror fiction Stephen Graham Jones newest novel, Mongrels, is one of those works of fiction that, when you finish it, you have to take some time and compose your thoughts before writing about it It s extraordinarily well written, which isn t surprising coming from Jones, and it has all the elements of a great story, also not surprising given the source, but those aren t the things that give you pause when talking about it What makes it [...]


  15. I ve actually had this book on my Kindle for a long time Reviews and other commitments have somehow managed to get in the way of me reading it Finally, earlier this year I took time out from the review list and read something for me This is something I will be doing a lot of in the coming months.Much has been written and said about this particular book, about just how good it is and I went in wondering if I would be as impressed as others Well, it is safe to say that Mr Jones has delivered a re [...]


  16. In all the stories and all the movies, there s human footprints walking along, becoming wolf prints at the end.In the heaven of werewolves, there s just new grass folding back into place.


  17. I used to think Toby Barlow s Sharp Teeth was the best werewolf book I d ever read Well, now it s at least tied for first.This is werewolf fiction by way of Tim O Brien s The Things They Carried It s a coming of age novel by way of the fucking Wolf Man It s contemporary social commentary by way of Metallica cum To Kill a Mockingbird And it s really goddamn well written.Our protagonist who I only realized in the last chapter is never named is a young boy raised by his grandfather, aunt, and uncle [...]


  18. My original Mongrels audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.Mongrels breathes new life into werewolves in fiction Stepehen Graham Jones sets a story in a real world with seemingly real people and real life situations By the end of the book, I began thinking of werewolves as plausible than bigfoot to some degree I think what has been lacking in werewolf related fiction is werewolves that fit into the real world Mongrels is the Salem s Lot of werewolf fiction, sits pe [...]


  19. I read an early draft of this a few years ago and loved it Or, I came to love it It had a very Stephen Graham Jones feel, which is all seduction The kind you didn t know was happening, but it s easy to say that the old draft was weaker than what got published, and I m so happy to finally read the final iteration.Werewolves, man, there s so deep inside me So much apart of my DNA as a kid and adult I remember staying up late, just hoping to maybe howl at the moon and run out into it All I ever wan [...]


  20. Full Review at thequeenofblades I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review You know when you are really super stoked about a book and then you read and its sort of meh And then you never quite know if its because you built it up in your own mind, or if it really not as great as expected or if the Universe is just punishing you for having the audacity to be excited over something Such is the case here Sadly this just didn t quite have the oomph to propel it into my I m so g [...]


  21. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through a giveaway Thank you to both.This is my first work by this author, and while I enjoyed the book for the most part, I found the jumping around in the time line very distracting in this particular story I ve read other books that do this some worked for me, some didn t This one, unfortunately, didn t.As some other reviews have stated, this is of a coming of age story about a young man who just happens to come from a family of werewolves Th [...]


  22. I think I m now enough recovered from the emotional beating that this book gave me to review it Let s go.Mongrels follows a never named narrator through his childhood memories of his family In the opening chapter, he is eight, living with his aunt and uncle and grandpa, and although the latter outright claims to be a werewolf and tells him a lot of usually violent and dramatic stories about their family s nature, he isn t sure if any of it is real He desperately wants it to be.Despite the someti [...]


  23. Mongrels is a coming of age horror story with teeth Werewolves have always been my favorite monster so when I heard about this book I grabbed it Thanks Frank I didn t really expect it to jump to the top of my favorite books list, but it did I was hooked from the very first page of this phenomenal book and sad when my visit to this world came to an end This gritty and realistic story is told from the point of view of The Boy, a child growing up in a family of destitute gypsy like werewolves who t [...]


  24. What a delight, this is only my second Stephen Graham Jones book, and it impressed me even than my first, The Ones That Got Away The narrative used, specifically the changes between chapters, caught me off guard, I didn t really get it at first, but once I understood its mechanics I realized how much fun I was having Interaction and dialogue between the characters are just excellent funny, poignant, and full of depth This book is just great all around Yes, there might be werewolves involved but [...]


  25. Gonna need a day or two to process this one There are some great scenes in this novel, but the narrative is disjointed and reads like a series of short stories I m thinking 3 stars I did enjoy it and i would re read it, and I d FIGHT YOU for a sequel, so I guess I liked the story quite a bit Finally reading this one just in time for Halloween I m hoping it s as good as I think it will be I havent gotten to this yet, but it s only 1.99 on Kindle right now, so it s a good time to get it if you ha [...]


  26. Masterful and enthralling, Mongrels dusts off a legendary creature, recasts it brilliantly, and shoves it howling down your throat Stunning, absolutely stunning My full review can be found here smashdragons 2




  27. If you are the fence about reading this book and check out a few of the reviews you ll probably see this word alot SPECIAL This is a one of a kind literary horror masterpiece I know that kinda of hyperbole can often set up a book for failure I am not sure anything can ruin this novel Written by literature professor Stephen Graham Jones who has published than a dozen novels, and he has been hinting for yeas that he was passionate about writing a werewolf novel He clearly loves the creatures and [...]


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