I’ve been a fan of Michael Chabon ever since The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. That book made me read his earlier work, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, a book showing the promise Chabon ultimately achieved. I tried to read The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, twice. Ellen liked it, but I stopped halfway on my second attempt. So, his work represents some unevenness to my taste.
Which brings me to Moonglow. Ellen couldn’t get into it, but I enjoyed it. I doubt Chabon principal aim is to satisfy the tastes of the Coppley family (Ellen and I both loved Kavalier and Clay), you may love Moonglow or leave it, based on our experience. However, true to Chabon’s skill, I doubt the writing itself will disappoint.
Moonglow consists of tales from his grandfather, a man nearing the end of his life and who recounts events to his grandson he’s never heard before. The book starts with a disclaimer that some things are true and some is made up, but since I wasn’t after a memoir, who cares?
His grandfather was a troublemaker as a lad, who later became fascinated by rockets and space travel. He entered World War II as something of a spy, parachuting into Europe hunting for Werner Von Braun. Now, that sounds like an adventure novel. No, it’s not that, but it does lend an interesting narrative to the war. The book bounces back and forth in the grandfather’s life. So, you may read about the war interleaved with his adventures hunting a snake loose in his retirement village.
All throughout, Chabon presents wordsmithing that brings a smile to the reader. I recommend it. (Sorry Ellen.)