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As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.
When ex–NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.
An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own, Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we've been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, triumphant, it is Michael Chabon's most dazzling book yet.
The story did not reach the quality I expect from Michael Chabon. The characters were sketchy rather than fully rounded. The story seemed to ramble.Published 2 days ago by Mary Ann Petro
Michael Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue" is a rather interesting tale told in 5 segments including one of the longest run-on sentences in history perhaps. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Paul L.
This is the third Chabon book I've read and I was disappointed. It had so much potential but just didn't live up to it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by SR
I read this after having read & moderately enjoyed The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I felt the same about this one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by susankaye
I usually love this author,but this story seemed to just drag on. Part of it was the format- minimal chapters created a feeling of a never ending narration, and while I usually... Read morePublished 1 month ago by disappointed
This book was spectacular for a good long time, longer than most, before it flamed out like a firework. Credit given for a masterwork of writing and sense of place. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Noto
An always excellent writer. Worth the time to read. Satisfying, rich and substantive.Published 1 month ago by Ralph's mother