Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
(TheMightyBuch, Cardiff, 2014)
‘Chabon sees the shins of a beautiful woman glow “like the bells in a horn section.” A pregnant woman’s thighs peel “away from each other with a sigh, like lovers reluctant to part.” An old man’s advice to a young man falls like “rain against an umbrella.” A Hammond B-3 organ is “diesel-heavy, coffin-awkward, clock-fragile.” The smell of fried chicken wafts by as a “breeze off the coast of the past.” Chabon’s worlds are lyrical places, and they often include those sweet breezes from the coast of the past.’
|Merci, ma Belle Mère!|
Still, even in a digital form, the e-ink on the page remains clear and vivid in the memory, Chabon’s words and the lives of the cast of characters (properly developed and beautifully rendered, not merely caricatures like the cast of a Molière play) opened up and displayed for all to see (not unlike a mounted butterfly). Chabon has magic in his minds-eye and I for one am thankful that he can’t keep it there. This book feels like a gift, maybe not one meant for me but one for which I am grateful nonetheless. However, he can keep his almost compulsive referencing of funk, soul and jazz vinyl records, thank you very much.