It has been a long time since I have done a book review in this blog, I'm not really sure why but I think part of it is since the Angels Game I haven't completely enjoyed a book. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon has changed that. I was first introduced to Chabon a few years ago when I reluctantly began reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. When I finished it I believed that it was possibly one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. I never thought a book involving comic books would be so interesting! Joe Kavalier was a fascinating character, who was not able to see all that he had, and Sam Clay longed for the time when he could be accepted for who he is.
The reader follows the ups and downs in their lives not knowing what to expect thanks to Chabon's vivid imagination. I was entranced with his writing and words, and enthralled with his clever imagination. There are many touching and poignant scenes and phrases that I feel I can see when I close my eyes. All in all, I felt that this was one of my most satisfying reads. Oddly enough however I stayed way from other Chabon novels. I was concerned that they wouldn't live up to the high standard set by Amazing Adventures.
I finally decided to return to the world of Chabon and I am glad I did. Michael Chabon's novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh describes the process of growing up in glorious detail. The main character, Art Bechstein, tells the reader about new sexual experiences, new friends and his difficult relationship with his father. It is a lot of fun to read, because of the funny, bizarre and shocking passages, which appear throughout the book. This book is not only funny however, but it is serious as well. The reader is confronted the main characters insecurity, his fears and worries and his varied sexual experiences. The author manages to get the reader involved in a story full of crime, homosexual affairs, fear, lust and excessive parental care. It is a well written book, which is easy to understand.
I would discribe this coming of age story as a new classic. Chabon pushes the envelope with scenes and descriptions that some people may find offensive in the book. There are very detailed descriptions of Art's sexual contacts with Arthur and the author uses lots of provoking details to describe the sex between two men, but these provoking details make the book a unique read. This coming of age story isn't cloaked behind false pretenses, it is very real and the reader can feel the emotions of the main characters.
Chabon has made it into the high ranks as one my favorite authors and it may be a while before I write another book review in this blog, because it is going to be a while before another book is this good.