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Apr. 18th, 2009

A++ would kill again


(no subject)

This Monday, I was fortunate enough to attend Chabon's talk on Edgar Allan Poe at Northwestern. You can read my (long, rambling) report on it here.

And hey, while I'm at it, The New York Times published an excerpt from Chabon's journal a couple weeks ago.

May. 1st, 2008


(no subject)

This interview with the Borders Media crew came to my inbox this morning. I've watched about half of the segments so far. It's funny to see the interviewers sort of falling all over themselves; (and also Chabon basking in their admiration) clearly, they are operating as fans, not critics. I'd be the same way, I'm sure.

At first, I thought this was going to be like every other interview about YPU, but there were also some fun questions. Kids in bed, a complex relationship with chess, etc. There was a brief mention of his strong female characters, and I wish they'd talked about that some more; I've always loved Chabon's women.

I also enjoyed hearing him talk about his writing style: he speaks of 'pushing sentences' and 'pressuring the language' and one gets a little glimpse of the effort that makes his writing so damn good.

Finally: anyone working on his new book of essays Maps and Legends yet? I got it in the mail a couple weeks ago, (it has a gorgeous layered dust jacket...on pure aesthetics, it promises to be wonderful) but I'm waiting to finish reading Love in the Time of Cholera before beginning it. New Chabon---always a pleasure to be savored.

Feb. 6th, 2008

Reading, Dan


Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure (2007) by Michael Chabon, originally entitled Jews with Swords, is the third Chabon novel I have read in the past few months, and the ninth book in my personal Jewish Book Festival 2007-2008. In this short novel Chabon explores the Jewish milieu and the concept of Jewishness in near-ancient Central Asia.

Read the rest of the review.

While some might belittle Chabon’s ambitions (or lack of them) in creating this type of genre fiction the author gives a convincing defense in his "Afterword", and I shout, “Hurrah!” The genre is classic and timeless, and the treatment given by Chabon was engrossing. I enjoy historic fiction, and this stylized swashbuckler was just the medicine I needed to swallow. 

You might still say, “Jews with swords? It can’t be.”  According to Chabon, Jews (“the eternally Wandering Jews”) started their careers as perpetually wandering adventurers when God told Abraham to leave home and head to the promised land. Abraham left his old safe ways (and his idols), took to the road with what he needed, and the rest he found along the way. And I’ll bet he packed a sword to bring with.

Jan. 14th, 2008

Reading, Dan


The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

I just posted a review of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (2007) on my site.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  The next Chabon novel I plan to read is Gentlemen of the Road.

After reading the book and while preparing my review, I read Chabon's interesting article A Yiddish Pale Fire on his uncollected writings site.  I thought it gave a wonderful insight into how the subject of this novel developed.  If you enjoyed this book, you must read this article.

Nov. 28th, 2007

Reading, Dan


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

I have recently finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and posted a review on my blog. It was my first foray into his works, and I enjoyed it immensely. Since the book is a long one and conveyed a lot of information, I am afraid that my review was not only on the long side, but I split up the subject matter into two extra special focus reviews, which I posted on two other sites-- 1) on the jewishbookclub community and 2) on the biggaybooks community.

I want to also thank 

mechanicaljewel for re-posting the “extra” chapter so I could read it  immediately after I finished the book.  In a certain regard I fouind that chapter a little disturbing, as it didn’t quite fit in with how I imagined the story would continue.  And that put me in a conundrum—  Do I consider the story closed at the end of the novel and disregard the “extra” chapter?  Or do I simply take from it what I want and leave the rest behind ("take the best, and leave the rest"), and consider it an outtake, but with valid information? 

I chose the latter course as it was a poignant and well-written scene, and provided Sammy with some character details that I was grateful to read.

The novel certainly got me involved with the characters, and in spite of its length I could have continued reading much more about them, and how they go on with their lives.  


Oct. 7th, 2007

typing, default


Ahmadinejad: Trying to make alt history not so alt

As I've noted before, I'm currently reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union, so I found the following news item interesting.

Apparently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thinks the idea of a District of Sitka would actually be a good one. In an International Qods Day speech, Ahmadinejad called on Israel's Western allies to "give these vast lands of Canada and Alaska to them [the Israelis] to create a country for themselves."

[ source: Tehran Times ]

Sep. 22nd, 2007

typing, default


The Yiddish Policemen's Badge

I'm currently reading Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union, and, with probably too much time on my hands, I made a badge, inspired by the book.

Jul. 10th, 2007


New Interview:

Michael Chabon | The A.V. Club
Interviewed by Elizabeth Benefiel

Jul. 5th, 2007

Snape jetblackheart


Ursula Le Guin stands by our man

Apparently, Slate magazine printed a disparaging review of The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Ms. Le Guin took exception to that, and wrote a charmingly acidic little countertext, which you will find here. (There are ads in a very awkward place right at the start of the piece; just read past them.)

May. 10th, 2007



(no subject)

An excerpt from The Yiddish Policemen's Union, from www.bordersstores.com

Chapter OneCollapse )

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