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Telegraph Avenue Audio CD – Audiobook, 11 Sep 2012

23 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (11 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062205781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062205780
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 13.2 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,970,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of seven novels - including The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policemen's Union - two collections of short stories, and one other work of non-fiction. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and children.

Product Description


‘Deeply wise and soulful … What you get is a big, serious, probing American novel, a page-turner that, like Chabon himself, seems to walk the line between high and low culture’ Attica Locke, Guardian

‘TELEGRAPH AVENUE achieves the blissed-out honey-coloured atmosphere of Cameron Crowe’s film ALMOST FAMOUS or Richard Linklater’s DAZED AND CONFUSED, but is deeper and more intelligent than either of those … It feels entirely relevant to the uncertainty of the present moment’ Sunday Times

‘TELEGRAPH AVENUE is a wonderful novel … Wonderfully engaging, exuberantly written … the world constructed here is one to lose yourself in … This is a novel that I found myself slowing down while reading, out of sheer pleasure. I put it off, and rationed it out, and just didn’t want it to end.’ Philip Hensher, Spectator

‘Chabon’s metaphors and similes can be wonderfully surreal… Telegraph Avenue is about many things: music, race relations, nostalgia, childbearing, husbands and wives, fathers and sons. Ultimately, however, it is a realist novel about the power of imaginary worlds to liberate or constrain’ Times Literary Supplement

‘A multi-generational, anatomy-of-a-community doorstopper with a plot like clockwork and sentences like toffee’ Sunday Telegraph

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Michael Chabon is the author of two collections of short stories, ‘A Model World’ and ‘Werewolves in their Youth’, the novels ‘The Mysteries of Pittsburgh’, ‘Wonder Boys’, ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’, ‘The Yiddish Policemen’s Union’ and ‘Telegraph Avenue’, and the non-fiction books ‘Maps and Legends and Manhood for Amateurs’. ‘Wonder Boys’ has been made into a film starring Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr. and ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’ won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, Esquire and Playboy. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and their four children.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Michael Chabon. I think he has a wonderful turn of phrase, and his writing as a rule is very evocative.

Unfortunately, I found it very hard to engage with this book. It's difficult to put my finger on any one thing, and I think it was a combination of factors.

* Too many characters that played too small a part - The book is a confusion of characters, many of which are introduced simply to give colour to a single scene. Of course when that happens it's not clear at first and you have to wait a while to realise they're not making a reappearance. The CHOCHISE meeting about 3/4 of the way through the book is a prime example of this.

* Unclear characterisation forced me to re-evaluate the characters too often - As a reader I draw certain conclusions from the actions of characters. When these conclusions are contradicted later on it becomes confusing. Why did they act the way they did if that's the sort of person they are?

* Unclear character descriptions - This was a minor one, but it happened a couple of times, and it pulled me right out of the story. I'd built a picture of a character in my head, then some new piece of information (eg. hair colour, in the case of Cochise) is introduced relatively late in the book, forcing me to revise my mental image, and throwing the whole plot into confusion as I now have 2 character images for the same character - one of which has performed the actions in the first half of the book, and one which will hold from now on.

* Not enough story - At some point beautiful prose just isn't enough, and at the end of the day I didn't feel there was enough actual story to warrant a book of this length.

* Too many references - To everything! From Star Trek to Jazz.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erin Britton on 14 Oct. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brokeland Records is one of those mythical, eccentric second-hand record stores where Nick Hornby and other devoted music aficionados shop. Located on a rundown section of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, Brokeland is owned by Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe, long-time friends and band mates, and has a handful of loyal customers who visit regularly to hangout and occasionally to buy records. Business has been bad at Brokeland for a while but things are about to get a lot worse since planning permission has been granted for ex-NFL player and fifth richest black man in the USA Gibson Goode to open a Dogpile Thang (that being a music and entertainment megastore) just down the road.

It's not just business that's causing trouble for Archy and Nat either. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, run a midwifery business together and inadvertently become embroiled in a racially charged professional dispute when a home birth goes dangerously wrong. The chances of domestic peace are further shattered by the arrival of Archy's estranged father Luther Stallings, a former Blaxploitation star and martial arts champion, the revelation that Archy has a previously unacknowledged teenage son named Titus Joyner, and the relationship between Titus and Nat's son Julius. The impending arrival of Gibson Goode's Thang quickly becomes the least of Archy and Nat's worries.

Telegraph Avenue is an excellent, epic novel of real life and relationships. Michael Chabon often explores interpersonal relationships (particularly notions of fatherhood) and how they affect individuals as well as the wider world and he does so again in a variety of ways with Telegraph Avenue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Toreados on 17 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
As a white man living in Derbyshire, England, I got the following out of reading this book:
- A good, immersive idea of what modern suburban life in a regular American city is like
- A lot of characters, many of whom were used only to make certain thematic points, to provide opportunities for ornate observations, some of whom acted like real people but none whose company was half as enjoyable as the author, it seemed, imagined it to be
- An overwhelming amount of writing, not in terms of word-count, but in terms of writerly prose and enforced stylistics. Not all of this was bad and at times, some of the similes and descriptions were so striking and beautiful that I read them several times, often out loud to whoever was nearby. But to put it in crude percentage terms, the writing of this quality accounted for about 30% of the overall "decoration", and as a result, the other 70% felt like bulky furniture making a simple trip from one side of the room to other maddeningly difficult
- An absence of plot, which in a book trying to capture modern life is fairly typical, if not quite excusable
- A profusion of scenes which existed for no other reason than, like so many temporary characters, to provide opportunities for the author to make pithy or profound observations, or deploy his descriptive powers
- Excellent dialogue which at no point faltered, failed or fell into "author speak" and which greatly discerned each character
- A frankly dispiriting amount of prose trying to capture the characters thoughts and opinions.
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