Tuesday, June 19, 2012
by Michael Chabon
Received an E-galley from the publisher.
Finally, one of my 10 most anticipated books of 2012, that lived up to my hype. While this Michael Chabon novel isn't on the level of the Pulitzer Prize winning "The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay", it is nonetheless a wonderful read.
Telegraph Avenue is the name of a street in a neighborhood of Berkeley, CA nicknamed Brokeland. It is home to a fascinating group of characters that populate this book. The book is set in and around Brokeland Records, a vintage record store owned by Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe. They find out that a new superstore with a large music section is planning on opening in the neighborhood. While it will bring many badly needed jobs to the area, it will also almost certainly put Brokeland Records out of business. There are many other story lines going on throughout the book featuring various other friends and family, including Nat's gay, Tarantino obsessed teenage son.
I loved the characters (including a charismatic parrot) and the dialogue rang true to me, peppered with references to old jazz and R&B, comic books, and cult films. "Telegraph Avenue" is one of those books that makes you miss the characters once it is over.