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Publisher's Summary

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 10 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.

©2016 Stephen Graham Jones (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • Morrisville, PA, United States
  • 01-08-17

Engaging Tale

Highly engaging coming of age tale. Mongrels takes everything you think you know about werewolves and uses it against you in. The narrative uses deception to get at the real truths in clever ways. Narrator Chris Patton is superb in his performance of the bulk of the novel while Jonathan Yen offers a interesting counterbalance to the tale.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

breathes new life into werewolves in fiction

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 more 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 perched at the top of the heap and worthy of Stoker consideration.

Graham is a hard author to put into a category, but I think experimental is a good fit. Mogrels , for instance, doesn't have a traditional plotline where the protagonist has a big happening early in the book that sets the stage for the rest of the book. Instead, the entire "plot" follows a young man and his family (aunt and uncle who are werewolves) as the young man comes of age. There really is not an overreaching event, but several vignettes of places and happenings of a wandering nomadic family of werewolves. The formatting and approach of the book aren't a hindrance but effectively keeps the reader engaged moving from one place and event the next.

Where the book really shines is the way Jones is able to make the characters believable. If there were really werewolves, how would they have to live? Well, werewolves are creatures of rage and hard to control and couldn't live within society's center, but at its edges. Vagabonds, hobos, homeless or transient folks, in general, would be where they'd exist. They'd live a life of poverty , of  suspicion and anxiety. That's exactly what the author highlights in this book. I happen to have lived a life of poverty growing up and a lot of the things these characters do, just to survive and deal with crappy cars, doing morally questionable things and moving over and over again ring true with me.

The characters are very realistic even though they are werewolves if you grew up like I did you know a guy like Darren and you probably knew a woman like Libby and probably had a storytelling grandpa as well. Darren is a clearly flawed individual, even perhaps among werewolves but deep down has a heart of gold. Libby is the loving mother hen, that might rip your face off. Many families have secrets, this one is no different and that's a large part of the story.

Another great aspect is that while the base of Stephen Graham Jones' werewolves is set with the traditional werewolf, he has created a new mythos  and lore for werewolves. Where did they come from? How do they breed? Consideration for what they eat while in wolf form and what happens if it's still there when they turn back to human is well covered.

The narration is also very good, but not quite as good as the prose. The narration was done by Chris Patton and Jonathan Yen, I'm no sure  which one is doing each part. Patton is a veteran of over a hundred audiobook credits, including other horror greats such as Clive Barker's "Books of Blood" and Poppy Z Brite's "Lost Souls". Jonathan Yen also has many credits but I'm not familiar with any of his previous work. I believe that Patton is narrating the present story line , while Yen is narrating the chapters with that take place in the past.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fantastically done POV.

I loved the performance. The characters were richly portrayed and the story pacing was well thought out.

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not your Hollywood werewolf

I absolutely loved this story! it brings werewolves into a new light, one more feral...more raw. Stephen hasn't reinvented the wheel, only given it something that feels almost real. It's not cliche, but isn't being ironic about it. the story just works.

I did like the narration over all. I wasn't a fan of the present tense reader, but quickly got used to him as the story went on. I liked that they had two readers, I just like one more than the other.

highly recommend this to any werewolf fan.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Over all

It was an ok story, some action but slow on the build. A decent one time read but not a classic.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Know what your getting

I honestly thought this was a blood and guts werewolf story from the werewolf perspective, and I didn’t get that so it was a let down. It’s a good story but this is more of a coming of age story than a horror novel. Just go in expecting a story about a boy who grows up around werewolves and leave the blood and guts thoughts at the door and you’ll be happy.

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A must listen for werewolf fans

I absolutely loved this book and reading !!! Jones is an expert story teller. One of my new favorites!!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been more

Enjoyable story. Interesting take. A lot of potential. There are great moments, but I felt like the overarching story line could have used a little more cohesion, without which the story does not promise nor deliver a satisfying conclusion. Despite it's flaws I would recommend this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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not your average werewolf stpry

I Really liked the story it is much more a coming of age story with be where was element tied in than and is a werewolf story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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different

a very different look at what werewolves are and how they interact with society. very good read