Telegraph Avenue - Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue (HarperCollins, $27.99), by Michael Chabon, had me savoring every single page. This is a modern Dickensian novel about parents and children across several generations, but it’s also about home births, small stores fighting megamalls, and a love letter to vinyl records, blaxploitation and kung fu films. Archy and Nat run Brokeland Records, a store in the “borderlands” between Oakland and Berkeley. Their wives, Gwen and Aviva, run Berkeley Birth Partners. Each set of partners is under stress: business pressures, impending parenthood, and unexpected father-and-son reunions. There are guest appearances by a Hammond B-3 organ master (and his wise parrot), a black zeppelin named Minnie Ripperton, and State Senator Barack Obama (at a funky fund-raiser). The pages are crammed with colorful characters, great dialogue, audacious set pieces, and inspired riffs, descriptions, and metaphors worthy of the musical flights that suffuse these pages. In the words of another memorable character, Valletta Moore, “Stay fly, and do what you got to do”: buy this book.

Telegraph Avenue: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780061493348
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Harper - September 11th, 2012

Telegraph Avenue: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061493355
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Perennial - September 10th, 2013