The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh
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
"Before she committed suicide, when he was seventeen, Cleveland Arning's mother, a laughing woman, taught her son to joke and to ridicule. His father, tall, thin, cut his beard in a goatee and wore great red sideburns that ran up his otherwise bald temples. His name w ...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
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
"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
“I saw that I'd been mistaken when I thought of myself as a Wall, because a wall stands between, and holds apart, two places, two worlds, whereas, if anything, I...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
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
June finds Art making fantastic new friends who all seem to know how to live better than he does. Inspired, Art sits atop a hill in Pittsburgh and thinks this:
I smoked and looked down at the bottom of...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
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
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
Michael Chabon, what a genius. The way the book is written reminds you of j ...more
I grew up just outside Pittsburgh and am going to school here, so all of the places menti ...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
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
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