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Publisher's Summary

The keeping of secrets and the telling of lies; sex and desire and ordinary love; existential doubt and model rocketry all feature in the new novel from the author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

'The world, like the Tower of Babel or my grandmother's deck of cards, was made out of stories, and it was always on the verge of collapse.'

Moonglow unfolds as a deathbed confession. An old man, his tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, his memory stirred by the imminence of death, tells stories to his grandson, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried. Why did he try to strangle a former business partner with a telephone cord? What was he thinking when he and a buddy set explosives on a bridge in Washington, DC? What did he feel while he hunted down Wernher von Braun in Germany? And what did he see in the young girl he met in Baltimore after returning home from the war?

From the Jewish slums of prewar Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of a New York prison, from the heyday of the space programme to the twilight of the American Century, Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week.

©2017 Michael Chabon (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

Praise for Michael Chabon:
"Chabon is a spectacular writer, a language magician." (Guardian)
"It's as if Michael Chabon has pulled joy from the air and squeezed it into the shape of words." (LA Times Book Review)
"The natural exuberance of Chabon's writing is matched by dazzling wit." (Sunday Telegraph)
"A 'star' not in the current sense of cheap celebrity, but in the old sense of brightly shining hope. He is a writer not only of rare skill and wit but of self-evident and immensely appealing generosity." (Washington Post)

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  • Suswati
  • 11-09-17

Beautifully written

This biography of Michael Chabon's 'grandfather' is a stunning piece of whimsy, the tale of a cranky, old genius that grips and surprises throughout. It is a long, meandering novel masquerading as a memoir, flitting around time and place so that the chapters don't follow consecutively and it's only gradually that we build up a picture of the narrator's family history via the stories told to him by his grandfather.

Despite the fragmented narrative and some aspects considered to be fictional truth, there's real heart and soul here which lifts this novel beyond merely the clever construction, giving it a haunting, poignant undertone.

For me the book is less about the grandfather, but the beautiful, damaged woman with whom he falls in love with. Profoundly affected by her experiences during the Second World War, the narrator's grandmother tells stories to shore up her own sense of self and to hold herself together in the wake of trauma.

While at times it can seem tedious, the author's writing carries it through, moving effortlessly from rambunctious humour to distressing scenes. It is a meditation on families and what constitutes a family when it's not based on blood, histories and accurate memories. A big-hearted and beautifully-written novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Johnny TimeBomb
  • 02-18-18

Another wonderful character from Michael Chabon

Chabon's beautiful phasing, humorously realised reflective characters, and boy's own adventure stories are a delight

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  • Alex Moore
  • 11-15-17

Thought provoking

Incredible semi-biographic account of two interesting people made great by the attention to both life's wonders and also its darker side. Very compelling.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-17

Classic Chabon.

Another cracking offering from, surely, America's foremost storyteller.....if you don't know Chabon then get on board.

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  • MAGGS
  • 02-22-17

Moonglow - LOVED THIS BOOK WHAT A GREAT STORY

Moonglow - LOVED THIS BOOK WHAT A GREAT STORY
Didn't want this book to end
This book would be enjoyed by both male & female readers, it had everything, war, prison, space missions, sex the lot
George Newbern Narration sounded as if he was really the grandson, he portrayed it so genuinely

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Wras
  • 02-16-17

Looking at the past can be painful.


The story of this book is very interesting and very revealing but the way it was written makes it very hard to follow there is a disjointedness that makes it hard to follow, and also some of the descriptions grandma and grandpa in bed are crass and rude in a way that is unnecessary. I am not a prude but describing every bodily function just because, does not add depth to the story just shock value. But if you can overcome these problems the story has many beautiful and harrowing descriptions of life during and after the second world war, plus it delivers two characters from that period that are as human and real like few.

The Plot develops out of the rambling of a dying man and the grandson delivers them in that order because his grandfather said he would not do it, he would clean up his life make it make sense although he does not believe it has any and so the grandson to be contrary writes as he is related, adding only a few details to events his grandfather had not wanted to know.
Beautiful and frustrating in equal parts.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful