Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure [title page only] (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Michael Chabon says he originally wanted to call this adventure story Jews With Swords—set in medieval Europe, it draws from little-known Jewish history and legends, as well as the grand tradition of swashbuckling tales from Dumas to comic books.  It's an irresistibly charming miniature epic, with larger-than-life characters, hilarious tight scrapes and desperate pitched battles galore, and just enough of a love story to leave one filled with longing.  It's Chabon at his best, an explosion of brilliant sentences and pure joy in storytelling, that also manages to engage with the long history of both antisemitism and Jewish creativity.

Picked by Jessica in Fort Greene

Description


Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, sprang from an early passion for the derring-do and larger-than-life heroes of classic comic books. Now, once more mining the rich past, Chabon summons the rollicking spirit of legendary adventures–from The Arabian Nights to Alexandre Dumas to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories–in a wonderful new novel brimming with breathless action, raucous humor, cliff-hanging suspense, and a cast of colorful characters worthy of Scheherazade’s most tantalizing tales.

They’re an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa A.D. 950, living as they please and surviving however they can–as blades and thieves for hire and as practiced bamboozlers, cheerfully separating the gullible from their money. No strangers to tight scrapes and close shaves, they’ve left many a fist shaking in their dust, tasted their share of enemy steel, and made good any number of hasty exits under hostile circumstances.

None of which has necessarily prepared them to be dragooned into service as escorts and defenders to a prince of the Khazar Empire. Usurped by his brutal uncle, the callow and decidedly ill-tempered young royal burns to reclaim his rightful throne. But doing so will demand wicked cunning, outrageous daring, and foolhardy bravado . . . not to mention an army. Zelikman and Amram can at least supply the former. But are these gentlemen of the road prepared to become generals in a full-scale revolution? The only certainty is that getting there–along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of–will be much more than half the fun.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author


Michael Chabon is the author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Wonder Boys, which was made into a critically acclaimed film; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; The Final Solution: A Story of Detection; and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. He is also the author of two short-story collections and a young adult novel, Summerland. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.


From the Hardcover edition.

Praise For…


Praise for Michael Chabon

“Michael Chabon can write like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader with their beauty and their style.”
–The New York Times

“[Michael Chabon] is, simply, the coolest writer in America.”
–The Christian Science Monitor

“[Chabon is a] stupendously gifted and accomplished writer . . . a writer not merely of rare skill and wit but of self-evident and immensely appealing generosity.”
–The Washington Post Book World

“Whether making us laugh or making us feel the breathtaking impermanence of things, Michael Chabon keeps us wide awake and reading.”
–Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

“Chabon’s writing is elegant and limber.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“From his editorship of an issue of McSweeny’s to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Chabon has mined genre fiction and pop culture in pursuit of literary gold.”
–Bookmarks


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780345502070
ISBN-10: 0345502078
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: September 30th, 2008
Pages: 224
Language: English