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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.
Five stars.. One of the best books I have ever read.. Full of life and a book that I wanted to never end.Published 8 days ago by Lucinda, La Wanda
This is too stupid for words. I'm a Berkeley girl. It never happened that way. Talk about artistic license!Published 8 days ago by FABS Member
Read about 20 pages and gave up. Extremely tedious writing. Whatever the reward was at the end, I came to the conclusion, especially after going back and reading the reviews, that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by A. Reese
I don't know what I would have done, read the book or not, if it had come with the following caveat: this book was written under the influence of the last book written by a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by L.E. Smith
A few brilliant parts interwoven into many boring and sometimes incomprehensible ( at least to a non American reader) ones.Published 1 month ago by 2oceans
I really liked Kavalier and Clay, and Yiddish Policemen's Union, and enjoyed Chabon's sensitivity to character and genre in those very much. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C.O.
Good. But the way it ends seems, somehow, a little unnatural.Published 1 month ago by Donald P. Wallis