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Gentlemen of the Road by [Chabon, Michael]
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Gentlemen of the Road Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Every page holds a twist, while the prose is rich, but perfect in its control, and its calibration between the poetic and the exotic . . . readers might feel that they have reached the book equivalent of the Promised Land. (The Times)

It's been a while since I had such fun reading a book . . . It's like dipping into a leather-bound chronicle full of exciting legends and reminded me of the fathomless pleasure with which I used to read as a child. I was rapt. (Daily Telegraph)

From the opening sentence of this rip-roaring, swashbuckling yarn, you know you're in the hands of a master . . . That level of brio, invention and panache continues at breakneck pace throughout . . . smart, clever and stylish (Scotland on Sunday)

A rip-roaring ride of a novel (Independent on Sunday)

Intricate and exuberant . . . It's hard to resist its gathering momentum, not to mention the sheer headlong pleasure of Chabon's language. (New York Times Book Review)

a celebration of male friendship (Sunday Telegraph)

great fun (Sunday Times )

Book Description

A spellbinding yarn set a thousand years ago along the ancient Silk Road, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 303 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (11 Dec. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002V091B6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,292 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The subtitle to "Gentlemen of the road" is 'a tale of adventure' which is exactly what it is, and it's dedicated to Michael Moorcock, which is very telling too. Fabled lands of ancient history (where you can never really that what is fact and what is fiction), a pair of very different but both extremely likeable heroes and a host of colourful other characters, cities under siege and relentless pursuits on horseback... it's all there and very well done too. The language is at times difficult but ultimately shows how rich the English language is and to what great effect it can be used.

This book made me feel like I was twelve again and discovering for the first time Ivanhoe, Tarzan, or Verne's novels, reading them entranced and feeling, for the duration of the novel, how grand it must be to live a adventurer's life ;-)
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Award-winner Michael Chabon usually focuses on the disaffected of the present, or at least the near past.

But he goes over a thousand years into the past for "Gentlemen of the Road," an old-fashioned adventure story with some gloriously offbeat heroes. It's a fun, quirky read (the original, fitting title was "Jews With Swords"), with lots of unique twists but the prose gets a bit purple at times.

In caravans and on the road, the giant Abyssian Amram and gawky Frank Zelikman make money however they can -- even staging mock fights. After their ruse is found out by a weary mahout, he offers to take them on as bodyguards to a sullen young prince, Filaq. Then the mahout is murdered, and the two "Gentlemen of the Road" find themselves babysitting a snotty teen with a tendency to run away.

Unfortunately, the fortress they're heading for has been destroyed, and a gang of hired thugs kidnap Filaq. For no reason they can explain, Amram and Zelikman find themselves racing to rescue the kid, and beginning a quest full of checkered pasts, civil wars, ancient elephants... and the discovery that Filaq isn't quite who he seems to be.

There's something very classic about the flavour of "Gentlemen of the Road." Maybe it's because it was actually serialized in the New York Times Magazine, or maybe because Chabon apparently soaked up the works of Moorcock, Alexandre Dumas and Fritz Lieber. Think a Jewish version of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

"Gentlemen of the Road" does have one flaw -- Chabon's prose gets dense and purple at times, which sent me spinning right off the narrative.
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Format: Hardcover
And delightful to hold. An old-fashioned story, with princes, cutthroats, barbarians, and swords (no sorcery, just a bit of medicine). A doctor and an old soldier set to reconquer an old empire. '"What a pair of swindlers", an enemy said admirinly' The book yields what you expect from it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Michael Chabon seems to have discovered a rich vein of gentle humour. The story is set a 1000 years ago ("once upon a time") in a far, far away place (bearing some resemblance to the north and east Black Sea area), two Jewish gentlemen of the road (adventurers), one from Regensberg and one from Ethiopia, journey along together -- disparate characters, not above the well practiced con now and then to keep body and soul together -- they rescue a princess (but without knowing she's a princess). I first read the Yiddish Policemen's Union, and have enjoyed this one as much.

Read it. You'll like it. Another one of those novels which helps you to imagine "what it was like then". And chuckles all the way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fun adventure story for children from 8 to 80 and of all possible genders. It combines Chabon's great style and sense of pleasure in the sheer act of writing with a tale of the mediaeval derring-do of a couple of oddly-matched Jewish adventurers. Makes perfect sense when you read it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book should come with a big warning wrapper: "Michael Chabon's latest book is unlike his previous work, it is an homage to classic adventure writing -- your results may vary." That's because it's a book whose enjoyment depends heavily on the reader's expectations, and a number of reviewers seem to find fault with it because of this. If you're a fan of Chabon, be warned that it's miles away from his early work like Wonder Boys or The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and while it shares certain themes with more recent work like Kavalier & Clay, The Final Solution, and The Yiddish Policeman's Union, it's a large stylistic departure and really an experiment unto itself.

Originally written in serial chapters published in the New York Times Magazine, the story follows the stylistic and narrative conventions of the old time pulp serials. And if you've never read any old adventure classics like H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quartermain stories, Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories, or Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar stories, then the heavily stylized form may throw you. Indeed, some reviewers have complained that the story is confusing and hard to follow, which frankly, baffles me. Like its literary ancestors, the plot is such that a 10-year-old could follow and recount it, so the conclusion I draw is that the genre itself is defeating some readers. Sure there are leaps of setting and time, a constant stream of new characters, and plot twists aplenty -- but it's hardly daunting stuff. Similarly, a lot of people seem put off by Chabon's use of archaic and obscure words, but that's exactly how a lot of those old adventure stories were written, and the gist of the meanings can be inferred from context in almost every case.
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