Telegraph Avenue

A Novel

Chabon, Michael

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Telegraph Avenue
In this novel the author takes us to Telegraph Avenue. It is a story that explores the profoundly intertwined lives of two Oakland, California families, one black and one white. Here he creates a world grounded in pop culture: Kung Fu, 1970s Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music, and an epic of friendship, race, and secret histories. Longtime band mates Archy and Nat preside over Brokeland Records, a used-record emporium. All is well until a former NFL quarterback, one of the country's richest African Americans, decides to build his latest Dogpile megastore on nearby Telegraph Avenue. Not only could this spell doom for the little shop and its cross-race, cross-class dream, but it opens up past history regarding Archy's untethered dad and a Black Panther-era crime.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061493348
Branch Call Number: FIC C
Characteristics: 468 p. ; 24 cm.


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Dec 22, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Chabon once again combines masterful, entertaining writing with some powerful themes to deliver this tale of a struggling vinyl record store going up against a mega-corporate operation hoping to invade the neighborhood. Chabon's casual but insightful treatment of racism is brilliant, and the families that populate this novel are compelling, frustrating, bewildering, and beautiful. Chabon is one of our few authors who could convincingly be described as writing literary fiction that might also be called plot-driven popular fiction. He inhabits the best of both worlds, and brings us along for the ride.

Dec 01, 2014
  • dbrh852 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I totally agree with salpal37. The author allowed his artifice of composition ruin what could have been a good story with strong characters. It took me weeks to plow my way through the over cooked descriptions...reading this book felt like punishment!

Sep 25, 2014
  • salpal37 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Got to page 37 and quit. I feel like the author was trying too hard to be clever. Got lost in the descriptions. Was not enjoyable at all.

Mar 27, 2014

If this book has been missing since Feb. 2nd, can't you send me another copy? There seem to be other copies at other libraries. I need it for a book group at Webster Library.

Mar 03, 2014
  • john_doh17 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The characters are compelling and the story line is good although not riveting. And Chabon's descriptions are amazing. My problem was that he just seems to go into too much detail which bogs things down. I saw Jerry Seinfeld at the Paramount a few years ago and he commented that with all the layers of decoration and glitz, how did he know when they were done? I felt the same way about this book. Some times you just say a chair is a chair, and you don't need a whole paragraph about it. It felt like Chabon went a bit over board at times...

Sep 22, 2013
  • truestitches rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Exhilerating and exhausting. Reads like a Tarantino movie - deliberately so. Chabon is an amazing writer, but in the end I was glad the book was over.

Sep 11, 2013

On and on,on and on...the sentences seem to go on forever. His sentences go on so long I forget what he's trying to say. As for the great American novelist, he can't hold a candle to James Lee Burke.

Jul 28, 2013
  • bette108 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

It might be a very good book but I just couldn't read it. So much "jazzy" language that I didn't understand what I was reading.

Apr 01, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I have read a number of Chabon's books with enjoyment, while remaining somewhat skeptical of the acclaim he routinely receives. He is certainly at the front ranks of the perpetual skirmish over great American novelist (neck and neck with Franzen!), though it is rarely questioned whether he deserves to be there. Like Franzen, he is clearly a master of prose and of the old fashioned narrative novel, but I find both of them lacking something. This sprawling, energetic, multi-racial, intergenerational novel encompasses a small group of friends and family in and around Berkley and touches on family, love, adolescence, geek culture, record collecting and money, among other things. The record store culture will remind some readers of "High Fidelity." It's ambitious in its scope, but falls somewhat flat in its characterization and thematic nuance. You decide whether a chapter long sentence is virtuosic or just showing off. Obama has a cameo.

Jan 28, 2013
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The writing in this book is spectacular. It's about race, community, marriage, friendship, politics, family relations and music. It is a remarkable book. Loved, loved, loved it.

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