Dear Library Man:
There was no call for you to be Mr. Rudepants with me when I asked if you had any Christopher Moore and where would it be and you said "The fiction section" and waved your hand dismissively towards that area. I know he writes fiction. One could perhaps assume that I wasn't just picking a random name and seeing if it was associated with a book. But maybe he was in Mysteries! Maybe he was in Sci-Fi/Fantasy! I HAD JUST COME FROM FICTION AND HE WAS NOT THERE.
You followed this up by finding me in the Fiction section, book in hand, saying "It seems he's written a mystery novel." This is when I must inform you that "Christopher G. Moore" is not the same as "Christopher Moore," and Christopher Moore never wrote this:
But then I had to check it out so I wouldn't make you feel bad. So now I have this book by Canadian detective novelist Christopher G. Moore, when all I really wanted to do was read Lamb. I AM NEVER ASKING A LIBRARIAN ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.
|Cliquez ici pour Emily's|
Now. Onto Telegraph Avenue.
Ugh, ok, this book. It's really, really good. And that needs to be understood.
I'm gonna try not to offer out any serious spoilers. And when I do, I shall use my awesome Titanic or River Song spoilers banner. We're done with part 1 out of 5, and honestly, I was not expecting it to be very good. Or rather, I was not expecting to connect with Chabon's style. BUT I DO OH HOW I DO.
So it alternates (from what I can tell -- things are a bit vague, which normally I hate, but more on that in a sec) between the 1970s and today. Which is fun, because who doesn't like reading about bell-bottoms? There's a record shop on Telegraph Avenue, which is...I guess a place? Ah. Yes it is. And according to Wikipedia, "Telegraph attracts a diverse audience of visitors, including college students, tourists, artists, street punks, eccentrics, and the homeless." Ah-HA! So you're saying it could possibly be featured in a novel consisting of characters from all walks of life, bound together through the virtue of residing in the same small geographical location? HOW INTERESTING.
These two guys own a record shop, and they're all into...jazz and shit, which I know nothing about. And don't really care about. Any worthy music from the '60s and '70s totally blows by me. I will listen to The Shirelles, thank you. And this is actually kind of a Thing in the book. Meaning it talks about SO MANY THINGS I know nothing about, which ends up being both intriguing and disconcerting, because you're like "Wait...am I supposed to know what that is? Is that made up for the book or real? I HAVE LOST ALL SENSE OF DIRECTION." So that's confusing, but it also feels like this new world is uncovered into which one would never venture if not for this book. It talks about blaxploitation films of the '70s, and kung fu movies and midwifery and basically yeah, nothing in my realm of experience. Which is swell.
Along with the above, it references specifics about baseball cards, and something called a Terrible Towel and all sorts of Fairly Specific to Guy Culture items. This is like that time I talked to my cousin's boyfriend for a while about movies and thought we were totally on the same wavelength because I had brothers and I could talk to guys, and then after like ten minutes he said "I don't really watch sci-fi movies" and I realized my brothers are all nerds.
I love almost all the characters, which is how a book sells itself to me. And, I would assume, most people. "Do I care what happens to these people? No? Ehhhh! Done with this." I get confused about who each person is and how they're related, but THIS IS ON PURPOSE and it makes you think more and I LIKE it. Also when a certain character cheats on his wife (you know the one I mean), this was my reaction:
And I am pro-books that cause that reaction. I'm really very much looking forward to the rest of this. Good job being pretty awesome, Michael Chabon. Oh, and you can pre-order this fine book (out in Septembeeeer, read iiiiit) here from Emily's store (Emily is awesome, you guys) or indiebound or whatevs. You know how this works. DON'T BUY IT FROM AMAZON. THEY WOULD GLEEFULLY BURN DOWN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES AND DANCE ON THE ASHES.
And here's your special thing of the week, kids: