Gentlemen of the Road

gentlemenI have somehow managed to make it to this point in my reading life without ever reading a Michael Chabon book.  I think it’s because The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is such a daunting book.

So, when I saw Gentlemen of the Road at the library, I jumped at the chance to read a more ‘trial length’ sized Chabon book.

First, an aside on audio books.  It feels to me sometimes that audio books have a lot of strikes against them.  You’re hearing a book that was meant to be read – the medium has changed.  You have no ability to leaf back a few pages to re-check something (well, you can go back, but it’s much harder).  If there are maps or charts in a book, they don’t make the audio book.  And, in addition to whether or not you like the writing, characters and plot, there’s the question of whether or not you like the person reading the book.  Does the voice annoy you (particularly in longer books)?  Are they too dramatic?

This audio book was read by Andre Brauer.  Once I got past my visualizing him in his role on Brooklyn 99, I absolutely loved his reading of this book.  That was a good thing too, as I found the unfamiliar setting and character names in this book to be hard to follow.  It’s generally not a good sign when it takes you a chapter to realize that one of the characters is, in fact, a horse.

This was an interesting story of bandits on the road.  They have their own world and their own code of honor.  When the opportunity comes to avenge a wrong and right a kingdom, they take it and much adventure ensues.

While I would hardly rank this as a favorite book, it was an enjoyable read.

What makes me want to read more of Chabon’s books was the writing itself.  Every descriptive passage came to life.  His turns of phrases were fantastic.  And then, in the afterwards the author himself explained why someone like him would write something so far out of his artistic comfort zone – for the sheer adventure of it.

I can’t wait to read another of Chabon’s books.

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