Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

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mongrels.jpg

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

15.99

Beasa’s pick: The premise, the barebones of Mongrels is that it’s a werewolf novel. It’s a coming of age werewolf novel where the people loop in on their bodies, transforming, shaping themselves through land and roaming. The story follows a nomadic werewolf family whose stories circle in on running away, on never fitting in, on feeling inhuman, on people seeing their otherness and limiting access. Beyond being a werewolf novel, deep-deep in the brutal and soft churning of Jones’s words is that there is something diasporic being chased down. There is a sense of stories lost—this jumbled nature of history, being a generation so far removed from the truth, so far removed from the source that the language even of themselves, of their bodies seems like an aimless chase. And like any diasporic tale the narrator is the generation trying to keep the stories together, re-track the stories, bring them whole again. Mongrels  is a powerful, the language had me snapping at my own veins a little bit wanting to know what’s in it—what stories are in me, what stories make me hungry as a wolf, what makes me.

About the book: 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 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.

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