Monday, May 07, 2012

2012 book 130

Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue
Sorry for the lack of posting--I had a super-busy weekend (loved the Avengers movie!) and this book was kind of long and I wanted to take a little extra time with it, b/c OMG NEW MICHAEL CHABON. (!!!!!)

I will say that it'd take a lot for a Chabon book to receive below some form of an A grade, just b/c I enjoy his writing so much, and so while this wasn't my favorite of his books (I mean, unless it was another book about Jews and comics, it was never going to be) it was definitely solid and I think should get pretty positive reviews. It's set in roughly 2003/2004 (based on contextual clues, like an appearance from a pre-Senator Obama) and focuses on a group of people who live and work in the Berkeley/Oakland area (semi-affectionately called Brokeland). Two of the major characters own a record store, so there's some great music stuff here, and also a lot of interesting stuff on family/relationships (primarily father/son) and on race/class (and blaxpoitation movies!). I do think it's worth noting--and I expect that some reviews will have Stuff to say about it--that there are really only two female major characters (as opposed to four main male characters and another 4 or 5 strong secondary male characters), and both are midwives. They are pretty great characters, though this is still pretty much a dude book. But I love Chabon's writing (there are some particularly nicely phrased sentences here) and liked his sense of humor in this one. A/A-.

An e-galley was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in September.

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