5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Starter for just 3 out of 5; the best is yet to come...,
This review is from: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Sceptre 21's) (Paperback)
I've only recently discovered Chabon, and this was only my second read after Kavalier & Clay. Given that it's his debut novel from '88, I can see how reviewers would have been excited. Whilst the story is little more than a cousin to Reality Bites, the narrative is refreshing and crackles with ideas, revealing hints of the mastery in his later style to come.
However, quite often I found it unnecessarily beguiling, as the author sought to begin yet another chapter with an off-the-wall opening sentence - as if he'd taken the publishing rule of grabbing people with your opening line, and nervously applied it to his work as a whole.
And for one who possesses such an inspired ability to grasp and define the more elusive qualities of what it is to be human, and the fireworks of consciousness, this first work sees the author bizarrely getting himself bogged down in more basic descriptions. MOst notably when trying to describe character orientated scenes to us: who sat where, or how two people have a spat and slap each other. To me, it was as if Chabon couldn't decide whether he was writing a novel or a screenplay, and the complexities of his directorial aspirations got the better of him.
That said, this is a genuine treasure of a novella, and ultimately gives more than it takes.