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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.
It was a little long and hard to start. At the end it was good. Took me a long time to read it.Published 19 days ago by bubbles
I have essentially no interest in the main topics of this novel. I know very little about music collecting or vintage jazz and even less about midwifery but I do know that I just... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steven R. Daniels
Telegraph Avenue focuses on a group of Oakland, California residents who are juggling various crises. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Terry Baker Mulligan
great book with engaging characters and review of music. of our time.Published 1 month 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 2 months 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 2 months ago by Stephen Follanbee