Monday, February 24, 2014

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

After exhausting my brain reading Trying Not To Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity by Edward Slingerland (March 4, 2014), I was ready for a light, easy read. I certainly never would have guessed that such a fun read as Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron would touch on some of the same concepts I had just waded through.

I love reading a book that can be enjoyed on many levels and Man Made Boy certainly fit the bill. When I started reading I just wanted something fun that I could enjoy on the surface. The story of the son of the Monster (Victor Frankenstein's of course) and the Bride leaving his sheltered life and attempting to have a normal life among humans was a great story. The characters were interesting and enjoyable to get to know. Boy's adventures were fast paced and his struggles never felt artificial. The variety of mythological monsters was impressive, especially without a vampire in sight.

What most impressed me about Man Made Boy though was that the reader is able to go deeper into issues of freedom, creator and creation, independence, family, perception, and technology if the reader chooses. While all of these topics are addressed in the book, the reader is given the choice of how much to explore them. The main storyline is never overcome by the issues being touched upon. Rather the heavier topics are used simply to support the lighter surface story.

As I had just finished a heavy non-fiction book, I filtered Man Made Boy through all that I had learned about spontaneity, flow, and ancient Chinese spiritual schools of thought. I noticed when Boy seemed to be in his most efficient state (usually while writing computer code) and when his interactions were most difficult (when dealing with humans, girls, or unfamiliar situations). It turned out that this young adult fiction book about a society of monsters hiding in plain sight was the example I needed understand the dry, academic writings of Trying Not To Try.

I would highly recommend Man Made Boy to anyone looking for a fun, coming of age monster story that will leave you much to think about when you finish.

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