I have to admit, after reading "The Yiddish Policeman's Union", I was looking forward to reading this book. However, I was very disappointed. It reads like watching the TV version of Stargate. The plot line goes something like this: Exposition... and then our heroes had an ADVENTURE... and then our heroes had an ADVENTURE... some male bonding... and then our heroes had an ADVENTURE... hero thought dead from last adventure is revealed as having escaped... then, ADVENTURE. After a while, I realized that I had no emotional connection to any of the characters and I was bored.
In a word, SWASHBUCKLING! When was the last time you read something that was FUN? Clever? Imaginative? Hasty exits! Bamboozles! Sleight of Hand! Elephants! Armies! Two adventurers meet in a bar...in A.D. 950 no less....you have to read the rest. You have to. I did not want this adventure to end. Michael Chabon does not disappoint with this rollicking good time. NOTE: This book is not for young children.
Great read! Interesting, complex and believeable characters -- exotic places -- just enough history to whet the appetite. Good story. Good ending.
Gentleman of the Road is swashbucklng fun. I particularly relished Chabon's elegant language and flowing sentences to elaborate his intelligent and witty tale.
"Within a few pages I was happily tangled in Chabon's net of finely filigreed language, seduced by an old-school-style swashbuckling quest...laced with surprises and humor."
This is a fun little tale about two rogues. Yes, they are thieves as well but they fight and defend those who need them, join armies when the spirit hits them and take time to heal the sick, mend broken and injured bodies and help those in need. They are a most unlikely pair of companions who live by their wits. Travel with "tall, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman", who is a physician, emotional, and idealist, and his friend, Amran, a "gray-haired giant" who wields a battle-axe with great skill.
The era is 950 A.D. where the friends roam the Caucasus Mountains, get pulled into a revolution as they defend and protect a young "boy" whose family has been murdered for political reasons. Zelickman becomes fond of the boy whose rash decisions find the travelers wielding their weapons far too often to extract themselves from the latest problems caused by his quick tongue. It's adventure at its highest as well as an enjoyable read. In addition, the artwork by Gary Gianni quickly imprints the images of the travelers on the reader's mind. GOOD READ!
This book was a treat to read because it was entertaining AND challenging. The story is a swashbuckling adventure with laugh out loud scenes, but unlike so much modern fiction, I couldn't "skim" to get the gist and move on. This book required me to reread sometimes to make sure I was following the correct meaning and other times just because I relished the sentence structure, vocabulary, and meaning so much, I just wanted to read it again. As soon as I finished it, I started it again, and enjoyed it just as much.
A good read, but not Chabon's best, in my opinion. Great characters, as always, but something about the writing style didn't quite work with the shorter length of this novella.
Good fun all the same!
Please see my review of the preview here