Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon – A decent book, but compared to others by him I was disappointed. In the past I’ve found it a delight to pick up one of his books every day, as I’m reading it. He writes colorful and eloquent descriptions of things, which I just love. Here, there was exactly one of those moments. That’s mainly why I was disappointed. In the larger story, he brings us to a neighborhood in San Francisco that’s maybe getting a little run down, and a celebrity wants to revitalize it with a huge shopping structure, but the people who live there don’t want it. This is the central point around which we meet two families. The husbands are best friends who run a (vinyl) record store together, and their wives run a mid-wife business together, one has a teenage son and the other is pregnant. One family black and the other is white. Both men are screw-ups in different ways, and crazy shit starts happening to them, around them. The main point is that the shopping center is going to put them out of business if it happens. How they deal with this and family issues, an estranged father, the death of a close friend, etc… is what drives the story. It’s largely a character study in my opinion. Lots of interesting characters, real people you might know and how they deal with life and mistakes. It’s drawn out in a lot of detail through the bulk of the book, and then the wrap up seems very sudden and clipped. I still like the author and will happily read more of his work, but when recommending him to a friend I would point them at something else.

Game of Thrones B1

Listened to the audio book for The Game of Thrones (Book 1), which was exactly like watching the show. It didn’t feel like anything was different or that there was anything extra. Not that I noticed anyway. I enjoyed it.

Lord of Light

Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny (1967) – Reading a classic Sci-Fi novel is a pleasure and a challenge. A pleasure for obvious reasons. The challenge can be reading from the right perspective. This one doesn’t spoon feed you any information. It starts off near the end and goes back in time. You have to let it all wash over you for awhile until it starts coming together. It tells you the story of this alien world where Earthlings colonized. They have reincarnation technology, and the world is ruled by Hindu gods who are very real. The population lives fairly technology-free. Must be at least a few centuries back in it’s structure. Fascinating stuff.

It’s a good book. I really enjoyed it. It’s different than anything modern I’ve read because it’s too short. You have lots of questions at the end and you know there isn’t anymore. If it was written now it would be a series of tomes spanning the centuries on this world, mining all the possible details of it’s history and politics, and not just one small book of only 261 pages. It’s more like an exploration of an idea. No need to overthink the whole mess. Get in there, tell a good story and then move on. I find it refreshing really.