The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
The sheltered son of a Jewish mobster, Art Bechstein leaps into his first summer as a college graduate as cluelessly as he capered through his school years. But new friends and lovers are eager to guide him through these sultry days of last-ditch youthful alienation and sexual confusion--in a blue-collar city where the mundane can so...more
In any event, I know that I liked this book, I'm just not sure how much I liked it or why I liked it. I mean, if a book holds your attention to the point where you can finish it quickly and are interested in picking it up everyday does that by itself make it a great book? Or a really good book? Because this book was that for me. Then again, some really...more
"Every woman is a volume of stories, a catalogue of movements, a spectacular array of images."
The other quotes I like are:
“There had been a time in high school, see, when I wrestled with the possibility that I might be gay, a torturous six-month culmination of years of unpopularity and girllessness. At night I lay in bed and coolly informed myself that I was gay and that I had better get used to it.”
“It was as though she had stu...more
In every Chabon novel or story I've read, manmade structures give meaning to the characters' actions. If I exaggerate, then allow me to clarify what I'm saying. Are the characters in...more
The story is filled to the max with sexual confusion, societal yearning and emotional tug of war between what the protagonist calls his beautiful god-like people -- all put together in a sleepy, yellow-warm and lyrical package.
I had a little difficulty buying into some of the situations and characters and I'm not entirely certain the ending had been built up e...more
Browsing the street of the unfamiliar town I was supposed to spend the next 3 days in, I stumbled upon this book. Based on title alone it seemed an appropriate subject, given my recent circumstance. I imagined myself sitting and reading for days at a bench on the Monongahela, forlornly pondering life's intricacies. Instead I w...more
This book did not capture me. The writing felt amateur in ways that stunned me. I remember feeling lost in Kavalier and Clay, floating on wave after wave of blindingly gorgeous sentences, paragraphs, so complex and bold that you couldn't help but feel an awesome seasickness. Here, though, the writing is just plain old insecure. Chabon plays it like a coward, and Art sounds like a boring crybaby who we end up not liking that much because, well, he can't write fo shit.
Not that the...more
But on the other, more emotive and less rational, hand; what tainted greatness, how boringly humanising, how utterly demythologising. I mean, it's really comfortable to believe that greatness is something separate, inhe...more
I'd be lying if I said I didn't relate pretty strongly to recent college graduate Art Bechstein. The summer immediately after college is one that still hangs heavy with me, and I very vividly remember experie...more
There are books that so (seemingly) effortlessly capture the world in which they are written that you feel you are living, breathing, and sharing the air with the characters. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon's first novel and completed to fulfil his master's requirement at the age of twenty-four, is such a book. I lived all 240 glorious pages - and when I wasn't reading I was daydreaming and dreaming about Art Bechenstein's (the narrat...more
Perhaps mess is too strong a word for describing the book, I just couldn't connect with it and didn't really care about what I was rea...more
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, first novel by young author Michael Chabon, is a coming of age story that tells the tale of Art Bechstein, a recent college graduate trying to find his way the summer before entering the real world. Art I unsure of where he wants to go in life and determined to distance himself from his family. His father is a Jewish money launderer and gangster, a fact that brings Art deep feelings of sha...more
While the writing leaves a little to be desired, and some of the scenes are over the top, most readers would probably just write it off as an expected issue with an author's first novel. Some might argue that no real person talks like these characters do. To be perfectly honest, I know too many people who talk like this. F...more
I really liked the unique descriptions of the people, the places in and around Pittsburgh, and the situations all the characters find themselves in. I think the format of the book, interlockin...more
talking about personal connection with my books, this one had it for me, big time. it is seriously familiar.
why? cos whenever i'm not with my real friends when i do get home, i have Arthur, Cleveland, Artie, Jane & Phlox in the pages. and it feels the same. these are friends who are smart, who love having dinner or coffee and just engange themselves in some energetic talks. who will rant y...more
So at the start he get picked up by Arthur who is gay and goes to a party full of beautiful people and makes friends. Who cares? Then he gets a girlfriend named Phlox who is blond and strange and who I also don’t give a fuck...more
this book has been no different so far...this is his first novel and you can sort of tell...his language is a bit more self conscious and you can really feel him trying to impress you...the thing is, he does...
his command of linguistic expression is very very good...and his ability to weave multiple characters together and build their complexity through interaction is extremely effective and affecting...you never feel him losing control of the characters or the plot th...more
so i guess i can cut him a break because it was his...more
i liked the easy beginning, the promise of what mysteri...more
"I anticipate a coming season of dilated time and of women all in disarray."
On his way out of the library for the last time, he meets Arthur, intreguing and gay, who absorbs Art into a new friend-group of hyper-real characters and teeming with sexual tension: The mythical and beautiful...more