Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Telegraph Avenue: A Novel Paperback – September 10, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“An amazingly rich, emotionally detailed story….[Chabon’s] people become so real to us, their problems so palpably netted in the author’s buoyant, expressionistic prose, that the novel gradually becomes a genuinely immersive experience—something increasingly rare in our ADD age.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
“Chabon is an extraordinarily generous writer. He is generous to his characters, to his landscapes, to syntax, to words, to his readers—there is a real joy in his work….Both ambitious and lighthearted, the novel is a touching, gentle, comic meditation.” (Cathleen Schine, New York Review of Books)
“Astounding....steamrolls the barrier that has kept the Great American Novel at odds with the country it’s supposed to reflect....[A] huge-hearted, funny, improbably hip book.” (John Freeman, Boston Globe)
“Forget Joycean or Bellovian or any other authorial allusion. Telegraph Avenue might best be described as Chabonesque. Exuberantly written, generously peopled, its sentences go off like a summer fireworks show, in strings of bursting metaphor.” (Jess Walter, San Francisco Chronicle)
“Chabon has made a career of routing big, ambitious projects through popular genres, with superlative results….The scale of Telegraph Avenue is no less ambitious….Much of the wit...inheres in Chabon’s astonishing prose. I don’t just mean the showy bits…I mean the offhand brilliance that happens everywhere.” (Jennifer Egan, New York Times Book Review (cover review))
“The writing - stylized, humorous and often dazzling - is inflected with tones of jazz and funk. But it’s Chabon’s ear for the sounds of the human soul that make this book a masterpiece, as his vividly drawn characters learn to live at the intersection of disappointment and hope.” (Robin Micheli, People (4 out of 4 stars))
“Telegraph Avenue is so exuberant, it’s as if Michael Chabon has pulled joy from the air and squeezed it into the shape of words....His sentences spring, bounce, set off sparklers, even when dwelling in mundane details….Fantastic.” (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Book Review)
“Witty and compassionate and full of more linguistic derring-do than any other writer in American could carry off.” (Ron Charles, Washington Post)
“An exhilarating, bighearted novel.” (O magazine)
“A genuinely moving story about race and class, parenting and marriage…Chabon is inarguably one of the greatest prose stylists of all time, powering out sentences that are the equivalent of executing a triple back flip on a bucking bull while juggling chain saws and making love to three women.” (Benjamin Percy, Esquire)
“A jam that grooves, entertains, entrances and sticks in your head with infectious melodies….[Chabon] is a hypnotizing master of language, crafting fresh descriptors for familiar functions, poetic detours that never sacrifice narrative flow, well-oiled metaphorical machinations, and seamless time travelling that makes the phrase ‘flashback’ seem obsolete.” (Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune)
“Chabon’s hugely likable characters all face crises of existential magnitude, rendered in an Electra Glide flow of Zen sentences and zinging metaphors that make us wish the needle would never arrive at the final groove.” (Elle)
“[Chabon] is a truly gifted writer of prose: He writes long, luxurious sentences that swoop and meander before circling back in on themselves, not infrequently approximating the improvisational jazz that Archy and Nat hold so dear.” (Associated Press)
“As always, Chabon’s gorgeous prose astonishes, particularly in the Joycean chapter ‘A Bird of Wide Experience’….Like that colorful bird, Telegraph Avenue dazzles and soars.” (Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Spectacular.” (Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
“A moving, sprawling, modern-day tale that uses the improvisational shifts and rhythms of jazz and soul to tell the story of two couples….With seeming ease, Chabon shifts from high-wire flourishes…to moments of crystalline simplicity.” (Robert Bianco, USA Today (4 out of 4 stars))
“Fresh, unpretentious, delectably written….For all his explorations into the contentious dynamics of family, race and community, Mr. Chabon’s first desire is simply to enchant with words. Eight novels in, he still uses language like someone amazed by a newly discovered superpower.” (Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal)
“A beautiful, prismatic maximalism of description and tone, a sly meditation on appropriation as the real engine of integration, and an excellent rationale for twelve-page sentences.” (Kelsey Dake, GQ)
“He writes with such warmth and humor and sheer enthusiasm - for his characters, for the rhythms and atmosphere of Oakland, for geek culture, for the mysterious power of music, which he captures with uncommon descriptive virtuosity - that by the end it’s hard to resist this charmingly earnest book.” (Rob Brunner, Entertainment Weekly)
“This is a novel rich in story and character, rich in its dialogue and descriptions, rich in spirit and invention - and full of sharp, funny writing….The spirit of Telegraph Avenue is one of union and reconciliation, a welcome, exuberant voice in our fractious times.” (David Walton, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“A buoyant novel, written with the author’s typical stylistic elegance and empathetic imagination….His prose is as energizing as ever, in part because he’s always willing to try high-risk maneuvers up on the figurative balance beam.” (Troy Patterson, Slate)
“An end-of-an era epic....A Joyce-an remix with a hipper rhythm track.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“One of Chabon’s great gifts is an ability to beguile us with prose that exudes warmth into seeing ourselves in others, to even know them as ourselves. It’s a feat that parlays Telegraph Avenue, with its diverse population, into an All-American novel, one of the great ones.” (Sherryl Connelly, Daily News)
“A magnificently crafted, exuberantly alive, emotionally lustrous, and socially intricate saga....Bubbling with lovingly curated knowledge about everything from jazz to pregnancy…Chabon’s rhapsodically detailed, buoyantly plotted, warmly intimate cross-cultural tale of metamorphoses is electric with suspense, humor, and bebop dialogue….An embracing, radiant masterpiece.” (Booklist, starred review)
“If any novelist can pack the entire American zeitgeist into 500 pages, it’s Chabon....Ambitious, densely written, sometimes very funny, and fabulously over the top, here’s a rare book that really could be the great American novel.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“’Virtuosity’ is the word most commonly associated with Chabon, and if Telegraph Avenue, the latest from Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, is at first glance less conceptual than its predecessors, the sentences are no less remarkable.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A stylized, rapturous novel….Telegraph Avenue entertains with a riotous mashup of comics, kung fu, ‘70s jazz and family strife, but at the core lie some startlingly sober revelations.” (Zane Jungman, Austin American-Statesman)
“Chabon has a near effortless ability to reveal the huge universal human truths that scaffold absurdly specific circumstances, and he does so on nearly every page here.” (Emily SImon, Buffalo News)
“A sparkling, mesmerizing read….That’s what Chabon’s books do, sentence after sentence, page after page: they force you to bring your game up to his level….His writer’s eye makes the world a more vivid, vital place to live.” (Michael Bourne, The Millions)
“An achingly poignant vibe of sweet and soulful idealism makes itself heard throughout Telegraph Avenue….It’s a dream worth imagining, and Chabon does so with skill, charm, and no small amount of virtuosic writing.” (Diane Cole, Jewish Week)
“[Telegraph Avenue] has a Great American Novel heft to it—probably because, all caps aside, it is a great American novel.” (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine)
“Chabon not only knows how [his characters] feel, but how they talk. His dialogue is a thing to behold, the plot unrelenting. And I can’t imagine any writer, male or female, ever delivering a more breathtaking description of a woman giving birth. Some midwife, this Chabon.” (Dan Cryer, Newsday)
“Displays both his sense of ordinary people’s inner lives and his rich, freewheeling prose….A dense, flavorful book about race, class, politics, culture and sexuality, as expansive and ambitious as anything Chabon has published to date….An essential, unforgettable read.” (Ben Pfeiffer, Kansas City Star)
“His most mature, accessible fiction to date…An engrossing, well-crafted drama of family and friendship….Chabon’s storytelling gifts seem to know no bounds, and the dexterity with which he crafts his beautiful prose is often breathtaking.” (Jeremy Garber, The Oregonian)
“A dazzling star turn of a novel that showcases Chabon’s writing talents like a digital TV screen above Times Square….Chabon does love popular culture, but he loves humanity more, and that love is the power behind this sweeping novel.” (Bob Hoover, Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Chabon’s inventiveness requires language dazzling and deft enough to put it across, and like most of his later work, Telegraph Avenue reads easy - I downed 300 pages flying back from Denmark, stopping only to eat and nap.” (Robert Christgau, barnesandnoble.com)
“A dazzling display of sheer writing ability from the prodigiously talented Chabon.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Michael Chabon is the Michael Jordan of American novelists….Telegraph Avenue could serve as a master class on how to write a novel.” (John Broening, Denver Post)
“As ever, Chabon is a performing magician. He can take any topic and stage it so the crowd smiles and even oohs its amazement….Chabon makes a grab for the entire world in a single bighearted book.” (Darin Strauss, New York Times Book Review)
From the Back Cover
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, a pair of 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 complications 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.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
But would I recommend this book to others? That depends. Does the mention of Wakanda or the blue area of the moon stir childhood memories within you? Have you whiled away hours watching blaxploitation films? Does the close proximity of the words "Mirror, Mirror" and "goatee" make you instantly think of Star Trek?
If you answered no to those questions, then, no, I don't recommend the book to you. Like many of the 1 and 2 star reviews on this site, you will not like this book for those very reasons. This book makes references, lots of references, to very specific corners of pop culture. If you get them, you'll likely love this book.
As someone who does love this book, I still have some problems. At a certain point, I just had to accept that this was a world in which everyone, male, female, black, white, old, young, straight, gay, somehow magically collected the same pop cultural touchstones and felt free to reference them ad nauseam. Sometimes it's clever, sometimes it's written beautifully, but at many points it simply doesn't ring true. I find it had to believe that a current teenager would know that Black Panther is from Wakanda, and that the blue area of the moon is where the Inhumans lived (or rather, did in the 80s and 90s), because that's the only spot on the moon that has oxygen. And the Watcher, but he's okay with having neighbors as long as they leave him alone.
See there? I just confused almost everyone reading this review. Now you know how the book will make you feel. If you're okay with that, or you actually understood what I was talking about, then by all means buy it. I think you'll enjoy it.
What’s most disappointing is the trite meaning of the story boils down to: put away childish things. Those childish things being a record store, New Age birthing business, and long-gestating sequel to a blaxploitation movie. In the former two cases it’s because a couple has a baby so obviously now they have to buckle down and get “real” jobs selling real estate and nursing respectively. It’s probably a good thing Chabon never listened to this advice or he’d have given up writing to sell real estate before he ever won a Pulitzer Prize or cashed in with Hollywood.
What becomes mildly offensive is when you consider most of the characters in this are black, living in the eponymous down-on-its-heels neighborhood in Oakland while the author is a rich, middle-aged white guy. I’m sure the author considers himself a liberal and yet he’s really no better than the white doctor who tells Gwen to stop chemically treating her hair and quit practicing “voodoo.”
I’m sure most people won’t see it that way. They’re welcome to feel otherwise if they want. A lot of such people probably never gave it much serious thought and were just hypnotized by the writing, which as always is admirable. The only complaint I make there is that it’s really not necessary to say what each character is wearing every time they change clothes.
As with the wardrobe changes there’s a lot of ballast that’s not needed. “The Nostalgia Man” is chronicled at length but his only contribution is allowing Luther to get an audience with Mr. Goode. “The Bling King” does even less. The gay stuff between Julius and Titus serves no purpose except to continue the author’s streak of having one gay character per adult novel. If Julius were straight it would have contributed just as little to the plot since his main contribution was as a messenger.
It’s the sort of story that could have been pared almost in half and still retained the same overall message, as depressing and somewhat offensive as it is. A message that when you think about it isn’t even very original. Consider the 2007 film Knocked Up starring Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl where once the baby is born Rogen has to give up on his website dream to take a “real” job as an office drone. When you’re using the same premise as a Judd Apatow movie maybe your book isn’t as “literary” as critics would like to think.
That is all.