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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.
Every single punch is pulled. Guy's got a future in television.Published 17 hours ago by Chester Vaughan Jr.
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 3 days ago by D. Noto
An always excellent writer. Worth the time to read. Satisfying, rich and substantive.Published 13 days ago by Ralph's mother
A very unusual cast of characters in this book, with the common thread being two partnerships between and Jewish and African-American couple. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeffrey Hart
I am puzzled by some of the other reviews of this novel. I have read Chabon's The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policemen's Union and enjoyed them both... Read morePublished 1 month ago by V Watson
Picked this up because I really enjoyed "Kavalier and Clay" (which I recommend). It’s the story of, mostly, two families: Archy and Gwen Stallings, and Aviva and Nat... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Erie reader
It takes some work to get through this, and not be diverted by all the pop/jazz/etc. allusions and
braggadocio (basically, Chabon saying, "look! Read more
Five stars.. One of the best books I have ever read.. Full of life and a book that I wanted to never end.Published 2 months 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 2 months ago by FABS Member