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Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones


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Highly Recommended.

Mongrels is a gripping and unsettling novel and a fresh and contemporary take on the Werewolf myth that is rooted in the hound-to-mouth experience of working class America as much as it is in moonlit nights and woods.

The story follows the coming of age of a boy being brought up by his grandfather, his aunt and his uncle. As we follow his episodic story, the family moving from one temporary house to another in a series of beat-up cars, we learn that this is no ordinary family and that it is something far bloodier than brute economics that separates from the good life.

This is a sometimes gruesomely violent story, but Jones’ real skill is to weave the visceral nature of werewolf existence into everyday sensations and realities. And he does it with a wonderfully laconic prose, rich in the tones and styles of the America of the West and South. And we end up feeling empathy for his family. Yes, there are monsters within but they are harried and desperate people chased by hunters and their own nature.

Stephen King’s fans will love this but also if you love Cormac McCarthy there is much here to enjoy. A reimagining of werewolves and America every bit as startling as Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth. Praise doesn’t come much higher in my book. ~ Simon Spanton


Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

A spellbinding and surreal coming-of-age story about a young boy living on the fringe with his family - who are secretly werewolves - and struggling to survive in a contemporary America that shuns 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 centre 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.


'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.' Carrie Vaughn, New York Times bestselling author of the Kitty Norville series

'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.' Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding

'Stephen Graham Jones is as powerful as the monsters herein.' Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box

About the Author

Stephen Graham Jones

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

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Book Info

Publication date

19th May 2016


Stephen Graham Jones

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HarperVoyager an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


320 pages


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