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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.
great book with engaging characters and review of music. of our time.Published 8 days ago by Bryan E Bruns
I just couldn't stay with the story. Mr. Chabon writes beautifully constructed sentences, but I felt they prevented the story line from moving ahead. Read morePublished 20 days ago by pat
I could not finish. There is a lot of local interest. Some may find the extensive knowledge about "vinyl" record history interesting, as well as the tension in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephen Follanbee
I'm going to re-read this to see if it was just me or if this book was as non-linear as it seemed. I bought it because of several great reviews, but I really did not enjoy it very... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bernie Butt
Michael Chabon always delivers. I felt like I was really there, on Telegraph Avenue.Published 2 months ago by Mary F. Glover
It was only on my third attempt of starting Telegraph Avenue that I nailed the brilliant dialogue and got into Chabon's riffing as he unravelled this fantastic story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ChillWinston