Moonglow by Michael Chabon

A spectacular blooming-lily of a book, Moonglow takes Chabon’s grandfather’s complicated and hazy-bordered personal family history and reinterprets it through the lens of history, generations, borders, events, and the distance of time. Chabon is a master storyteller, picking up a genre and running with what looks like an effortlessly spectacular success. This book was no less awe-evoking than the other books of his I have read, namely WonderboysKavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. Every experience with Chabon’s writing is a new one. Moonglow is a text that wanders through the facts and fictions of Chabon’s grandfather’s life that include WWII, the development of a rocket program he was involved in, love affairs, parenthood, and the million other things we all carry around with us to make up a life. His grandfather’s like, even with the fictional aspects included, was an amazing one. This novel presents perhaps the most effective execution of a fictional oral history – it faces down the facts of life and plays with the fictions of memory to create a brilliant and engrossing narrative. It simply is one of the most amazing portraits of a man in the prose format that most closely resembles the way we tell such stories. A wonder of a book. 

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