Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure
In the Caucasus Mountains around AD 950, two wandering adventurers and unlikely soul mates live as they please and survive as they can – as blades and thieves for hire and practised bamboozlers. Until, following a bloody coup in the Jewish empire of the Khazars, they get dragooned into the service of a fugitive prince, who burns to reclaim his throne . . .
Then, as if overhearing and taking pity on the maudlin trend of his thoughts, the wind carried to h...more
This may not be a piece of Chabon's work th...more
Chabon attempted to invoke a mini-mythology around his simple story about bandits. Unfortunately the technique distanced the reader from the action. Maybe that was his intention. I'm guessing it wasn't, having heard an interview with Chabon in which he admitted this was his first attempt at such a story and he didn't feel he knew what he was doing.
Really though, this book was just excently written. It was fun, had great character development (which I think was the main thing lacking in Chabon's last novella experiment, The Final Solution), and of course a great story with unexpected turns and an excellent ending.
I've seen that some other people have written lesser reviews and I'm not sure why....more
"Gentlemen of the Road" draws from what some might call 'pulp' fiction styles, or in other cases 'adventure fiction'. The language is very much a product of these styles of writing; frankly, prose was more complex back then (not that I'm saying it was better, but it was definitely different)-- longer sentences, oddly constructed, and florid.
If you h...more
The novel is bland and empty. Things happen and there is a fast pace at times, but I didn't care. That's the first for a Chabon novel. I don't care about any characters or what happens to them.
So, leave this one on the sh...more
“I want to do nothing. Nothing. Okay, maybe I’ll read a book. Hmm… Gentleman of the Road, by Michael Chabon. Well, I really liked Kavalier and Clay. And I liked Yiddish Policeman’s Union. And this is a short book- maybe I’ll just read this book, and work myself out of this 5 month funk I’ve been in…
… For numberless years a myna had astounded travelers to the caravansary with its ability to spew indecencies in ten languages, and before the fight broke out everyone assumed th...more
There's a lot I liked about this book. Like sneaking the history in. (I'm a sucker for that.) Words. (I'm a sucker for dictionaries, thesauri or thesauruses, atlases.) Writing styles that turn genre readers off. (Check it out - people looking for more Kavalier from Chabon were often disappointed.) The book design, fonts, and illustrations (Yes! Yes! Yes! They made me feel like I was 12 years old again. Thank you!)
I really, really, really want to hear an inner city spat someday...more
Marred by a curiously hostile afterward which chastises the reader for thinking that adventure tales are frivolous, though such readers are the least likely to reach the end of the book. It is clear that Chabon has moved on from the "late twentieth century realism genre" as he calls it, and that's a good thing.
For the complete review, please go here:
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