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Mongrels

Cover of Mongrels

Mongrels

A Novel
Borrow Borrow

NOMINATED FOR THE SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD • NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2016 BY TOR.COM AND BOOK RIOT

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.

NOMINATED FOR THE SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD • NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2016 BY TOR.COM AND BOOK RIOT

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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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six story collections. He has received numerous awards, including the NEA Literature Fellowship in fiction, the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction, the Independent Publisher Book Award for Multicultural Fiction, and the This Is Horror Award, as well as making Bloody Disgusting's Top Ten Horror Novels of the Year. Stephen was raised in West Texas. He now lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and children.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 21, 2016
    In this lyrical but meandering novel, Jones (After the People Lights Have Gone Off) delicately portrays the coming of age of a young boy growing up in a family of werewolves. Throughout the novel, the unnamed narrator and his aunt, Libby, and uncle, Darren, both werewolves, wander the present-day American South working low-wage jobs while always wary of the dangers of staying in one place for too long and being recognized for what they really are. The narrator's voice is heartfelt and absorbing as he learns the rules of being a werewolf while always wondering whether he will become one himself, a question that drives the story to its moving conclusion. There are jailbreaks and various battles, including one with a bear, alongside several encounters with other werewolves. While the episodic structure sometimes causes the novel to feel as aimless as its characters, it's still an often moving portrait of a family struggling to survive in a world that "wants us to be monsters."

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2016

    Having been raised by werewolves after his grandfather's death, the boy knows he's different. Taken on the road by his Aunt Libby and Uncle Darren, he and his adoptive parents never settled in one place for long, staying on the outskirts of towns and society. After traveling across the South for ten years, Darren and Libby sense the time is approaching when they'll be able to determine whether their nephew shares their "mongrel" nature. Weaving werewolf lore, a coming-of-age tale, and wrong-side-of-the-tracks tropes, Jones (After the People Lights Have Gone Off) has written a riveting story about fierce family ties amid the monstrosity of a bloody lineage. VERDICT Horror fans will dive deep into this strong literary work, with its dark humor that is sure to attract readers of all speculative genres.--KC

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Carrie Vaughn, New York Times bestselling author of the Kitty Norville series "Mongrels isn't just a coming-of-age story or a horror story. It looks at the world through a disturbing, uncomfortable lens, and offers up a brutal mythology of werewolves. I've never seen anything quite like it and I won't forget it anytime soon."
  • Christopher Buehlman, author of Those Across the River and The Lesser Dead "With lupine tongue tucked well into cheek, Mongrels is at once an adolescent romp through the tangled woods of family history and a rich compendium of werewolf lore old and new."
  • Publishers Weekly "Lyrical...The narrator's voice is heartfelt and absorbing...an often moving portrait of a family struggling to survive."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A love letter to the American South...Jones' portrayals of rural American ring true in many ways. Horror enthusiasts will also dig the graphic mythology...A Holden Caulfield analogue dropped into an old horror movie with a soundtrack by Warren Zevon."
  • Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding "Mongrels exists somewhere in the borderlands of literary and genre fiction, full of horror and humor and heart, at once a nightmarish road trip and a moving story about a broken family leashed together by their fierce love and loyalty. A bloody great read."
  • Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box "Stephen Graham Jones is as powerful as the monsters herein."
  • Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock "Mongrels left me speechless. Or breathless. Certainly without my dew claw. I mean, it's so smart, original, thrilling, horrifying, and human."
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    HarperCollins
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Mongrels
Mongrels
A Novel
Stephen Graham Jones
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