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Telegraph Avenue (P.S.)

by

Telegraph Avenue (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780061493355
ISBN10: 006149335x
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“An amazingly rich, emotionally detailed story….[Chabon's] people become so real to us, their problems so palpably netted in the authors buoyant, expressionistic prose, that the novel gradually becomes a genuinely immersive experience — something increasingly rare in our ADD age.” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Review:

“Astounding....steamrolls the barrier that has kept the Great American Novel at odds with the country its supposed to reflect....[A] huge-hearted, funny, improbably hip book.” Boston Globe

Review:

“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.” San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

“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 Chabons astonishing prose. I dont just mean the showy bits…I mean the offhand brilliance that happens everywhere.” Jennifer Egan, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

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.” People

Review:

Telegraph Avenue is so exuberant, its 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

Review:

“Witty and compassionate and full of more linguistic derring-do than any other writer in American could carry off.” Ron Charles, Washington Post

Review:

“An exhilarating, bighearted novel.” O magazine

Review:

“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.” Esquire

Review:

“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.” Chicago Tribune

Review:

“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

Review:

“[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

Review:

“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.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Review:

“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.” USA Today

Review:

“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.” Wall Street Journal

Review:

“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.” GQ

Review:

“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 its hard to resist this charmingly earnest book.” Entertainment Weekly

Review:

“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.” Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

“A buoyant novel, written with the authors typical stylistic elegance and empathetic imagination….His prose is as energizing as ever, in part because hes always willing to try high-risk maneuvers up on the figurative balance beam.” Slate

Review:

“An end-of-an era epic....A Joyce-an remix with a hipper rhythm track.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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.” Daily News

Review:

“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

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)

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

Review:

“[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

Review:

“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.” The Oregonian

Synopsis:

“An immensely gifted writer and magical prose stylist.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

New York Times bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon has transported readers to wonderful places: to New York City during the Golden Age of comic books (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay); to an imaginary Jewish homeland in Sitka, Alaska (The Yiddish Policemen's Union); to discover The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Now he takes us to Telegraph Avenue in a big-hearted and exhilarating novel that explores the profoundly intertwined lives of two Oakland, California families, one black and one white. In Telegraph Avenue, Chabon lovingly creates a world grounded in pop culture — Kung Fu, 70's Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music — and delivers a bravura epic of friendship, race, and secret histories.

About the Author

Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland (a novel for children), The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, and Gentlemen of the Road, as well as the short story collections A Model World and Werewolves in Their Youth and the essay collections Maps and Legends and Manhood for Amateurs. He is the chairman of the board of the MacDowell Colony. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

W S Krauss, January 4, 2014 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
Having some familiarity with Telegraph Avenue and the Berkeley/Oakland area, I could definitely picture in my mind Brokeland Records and its diverse and eccentric customer base. The owners, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe, are longtime partners in the venture, as well as close friends. Their business is threatened by the impending opening of Dogpile Records, a large chain of successful stores started by ex-football player and celebrity Gibson Goode. Goode even has a zeppelin bearing the name Minnie Ripperton that flies over the Bay area advertising the stores. But, Goode's success in opening the store lies with the City Council and there are members who must be convinced that Dogpile will be good for the community. Goode tries to convince Archy to close Brokeland and come to work for him. Meanwhile, Archy and Nat's wives, Gwen and Aviva, who are midwives in practice together, are in hot water at the hospital where they have privileges. This is not so much because there was a problem during a home birth where the mother had to be transferred to the hospital, but rather because Gwen was angry that they were not allowed in the delivery room once they arrived at the hospital. Gwen spoke "disrespectfully" to the OB in charge after he insulted the midwives. We also follow the story of Nat's son Julius, or Julie, who is in love with another boy, Tutus, he meets at a film class. We also meet Archy's father, Luther Stallings and his partner Valletta Moore.

There is so much to this book, both in terms of characters and story. It is comical and full of family drama. Yet also has some seroius points to make about life. Chabon's writing is dazzling at times and carries you along on his many plot twists. In one part of the book, we follow a parrot from place to place as it flies over Oakland, and over scenes inhabited by the book's characters. It's quirky and brilliant. Telegraph Avenue comes to life on the page with color and humor and a sweetness to it that can't be denied.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
The Lost Entwife, October 6, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
I picked up Telegraph Avenue thinking that this would be it - this would be the time I fell in love with an author so many of my friends rave madly about. This would be it, damnit, and then I started to read. Then I stopped. I blinked several times, looked around, started again.. and this pattern repeated until I got to the end of the book - almost a full month later. Because that's how long this book took me to slog through. And, honestly, I hated nearly every minute of it.

I wish I could say that it was worth it in the end. Because, you see, Chabon can write - and he knows it. He is so full of wit and intelligence that it oozes out the books pores and hits the peons who pick up his books over the head over and over and over. I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, but man... this book just did not work for me. This, for me, was a full case of the authors head getting in way of his story and, in spite of my heroic efforts, I put it down with a good riddance and think I'm ready to swear off Chabon for good.

What I got from the story was kind of a mix of High Fidelity with White Teeth. A novel so full of pop culture that I felt as if my head was spinning with all the references and it was useless for me to even attempt another chapter without Wikipedia open and near me. And, honestly, there was so much going on that it seems like the book should have been a busy story but.. so much just didn't happen. I got a feeling like I used to get while sitting outside on the porch, watching the clouds lazily float by. Relaxing for an hour or so but not very compelling when you consider you have to continue to pick up the book and read some more. On the plus side, I got a lot of naps. So there is that.

I'm afraid I can't recommend this one. I'm giving it a 3-star rating because I do think Chabon writes well - he just doesn't work for me. If you are polished on your pop culture knowledge it's quite possible you will enjoy this story but otherwise, I'd recommend giving it a pass.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061493355
Author:
Chabon, Michael
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1.24 in 16 oz

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Telegraph Avenue (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 496 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061493355 Reviews:
"Review" by , “An amazingly rich, emotionally detailed story….[Chabon's] people become so real to us, their problems so palpably netted in the authors buoyant, expressionistic prose, that the novel gradually becomes a genuinely immersive experience — something increasingly rare in our ADD age.”
"Review" by , “Astounding....steamrolls the barrier that has kept the Great American Novel at odds with the country its supposed to reflect....[A] huge-hearted, funny, improbably hip book.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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 Chabons astonishing prose. I dont just mean the showy bits…I mean the offhand brilliance that happens everywhere.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , Telegraph Avenue is so exuberant, its 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.”
"Review" by , “Witty and compassionate and full of more linguistic derring-do than any other writer in American could carry off.”
"Review" by , “An exhilarating, bighearted novel.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “[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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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 its hard to resist this charmingly earnest book.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “A buoyant novel, written with the authors typical stylistic elegance and empathetic imagination….His prose is as energizing as ever, in part because hes always willing to try high-risk maneuvers up on the figurative balance beam.”
"Review" by , “An end-of-an era epic....A Joyce-an remix with a hipper rhythm track.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “[Telegraph Avenue] has a Great American Novel heft to it — probably because, all caps aside, it is a great American novel.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Synopsis" by , “An immensely gifted writer and magical prose stylist.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

New York Times bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon has transported readers to wonderful places: to New York City during the Golden Age of comic books (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay); to an imaginary Jewish homeland in Sitka, Alaska (The Yiddish Policemen's Union); to discover The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Now he takes us to Telegraph Avenue in a big-hearted and exhilarating novel that explores the profoundly intertwined lives of two Oakland, California families, one black and one white. In Telegraph Avenue, Chabon lovingly creates a world grounded in pop culture — Kung Fu, 70's Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music — and delivers a bravura epic of friendship, race, and secret histories.

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