Filed under: Reading
I’ve just cracked the spine of Manhood For Amateurs, a series of essays by Michael Chabon. His tenth book, the tenth book of his I’ve read.
I’m not sure there’s a contemporary author I love more than Michael Chabon. Jonathan Lethem is patchy, Douglas Coupland is repeating himself, Cormac McCarthy is amazing but there’s not a lot of joy there. Chabon is damn near faultless, even his early stuff like The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh is really enjoyable and – sod the “recency effect” – The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay is probably my favourite novel. Epic and lovable and sweet and funny and heartbreaking.
Googling around today (seeing if I could find a K&C cover print, actually – his books are all out through Fourth Estate in these gorgeous covers) I found a great website primarily about the book but covering Chabon generally – it’s here and it’s well worth your time. Turns out there were plans for a Kavalier & Clay movie, although it appears to be stuck in development hell. Mixed feelings about that – it could perhaps make a great movie, but only if it had the budget and running time to do it justice. Not something that could take being chopped up, I feel.
But on the plus side, the Coen Brothers ARE making a movie of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Chabon’s other big hitter novel, set in a slightly alternate reality where, post WWII, the Jews were given Alaska as a homeland (this was genuinely mooted). It’s a very odd book, a sort of Chandleresque orthodox Jew apocalypse tale with a lot of chess, but I suspect the Coens – and the Coens alone perhaps – can pull it off.
He appears to have a lot of new books in the pipeline too.
So, yeh, Michael Chabon. Fucking ace.
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