Book review: Mongrels – Stephen Graham Jones


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 more 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 refreshing coming-of-age tale that puts him right at the very top of the dark literary fiction tree. From start to finish, ‘Mongrels’ is a tale that will awaken all sorts of emotion as we experience life through an unnamed narrator living with his aunt and uncle as their nomadic lifestyle takes them across the states of southern America.

Coming-of-age stories deal with numerous issues; the issue of not only growing up, but growing up with a secret is portrayed vividly and wonderfully through Jones’ stunning prose. ‘Mongrels’ is an accessible novel and I have no doubt in my mind that you will find at least one or two things that resonate with you as a human being. Jones is a natural storyteller, one where his characters are vividly brought to life and come the novels end you will be left devastated to see them go. ‘Mongrels’ has that rare universal appeal to it. Younger readers will be instantly drawn to the narrator, as will older ones, and Libby and Darren are equally as engaging. the way in which Jones takes the Werewolf mythology and turns it on its head with this story is exceptional, refreshing and it results in the book being a true joy to read.

Just because the book is about Werewolves, it would be foolish of you to believe this is simply a horror book. It is a book that is so much more. Over my years as a reader, I have enjoyed many a coming-of-age tale. Writers like Stephen King and Robert McCammon have blown me away with their stories of growing up, going against the grain, overcoming the many challenges that life throws at you. With ‘Mongrels’, Jones may have just written the best of them all.

Flawless in its execution, sublimely written and alive with gorgeous characters. This book is a must-read.

5/5 stars

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy from here.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m going to order it now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. adishotbolt says:

    Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


  3. I saw your review on GR after I posted mine, so I came and found it on your blog so I could comment lol. So glad we had the same thoughts! The writing was so easy to read and yet it was still, as you said, stunning prose. Definitely not a typical werewolf book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Glad you loved it. Such a unique book.


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