This review contains quotes from the book.
*Special thanks to Harper Perennial for allowing us to read Michael Chabon’s Moonglow.
Michael Chabon writes a powerful memoir-styled novel Moonglow detailing the experiences he and his grandfather have been through and witnessed throughout his lifetime.
Chabon traveled to Oakland, California to visit his dying grandfather one last time. His grandfather was on painkillers, and that led him to open up about his past like he never has before. His grandfather talks in detail about the time he was in the Jewish slums in Philadelphia to when Germany was invaded. He talks about what it was like to live in a Florida retirement home and about his time when he was in a New York prison. Chabon is able to capture the essence of his grandfather’s life in this novel.
What I loved about this novel is Chabon’s grandfather and the way he was able to recollect his past in such a detailed manner.
“On December 8, 1941, unemployed, bored, and known as a shark in every pool hall within a hundred miles of the corner of Fourth and Ritner, my grandfather enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers. Bequeathing his custom Brunswick cue to Uncle Ray–depriving the world, in time, of a tzaddik–he boarded a troop train for Rapides Parish, Louisiana. After six weeks of basic he was sent to a Corps base near Peoria, Illinois, for training in the construction of air-fields, bridges, and roads.”
– excerpt from Michael Chabon’s Moonglow
This was just an example of the kind of detail his grandfather was able to tell Chabon. Chabon also has a gift of storytelling. Because it is hard to put all these details in a thoughtful manner, and his words run so smoothly. My favorite story of Chabon’s grandfather was when he was in prison. That gave me an inside look into what it is like to live in one and see what the people are like.
I recommend this novel to anyone that needs a book that will make you see the world differently. This novel gave life a new meaning to me because the words and stories were so impactful. This novel was also a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in 2016. So if that isn’t convincing enough to go buy this, then I don’t know what is. I am going to beg all of my friends and family to read this one because it will change their lives. Like it changed mine.