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.
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.
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