2008: 169. Maps and Legends

“Entertainment has a bad name.  Serious people learn to mistrust and revile it.”

Maps and Legends, Michael Chabon

This is a collection of non-fiction pieces by Chabon, who has written at least three works of fiction that I consider to be excellent (that would be Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union)* and some others I have enjoyed (Summerland, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Final Solution).  As with many such collections, it’s a mixed bag.  Some pieces I basically skipped (the two pieces about sort of obscure comic book figures), others were fascination (his defense of genre writing, his piece on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy).  My favorites told me more about Chabon as a writer - explaining the roots of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union in a guide to the Yiddish language, or made me want to sack up and see whether I could ever be a writer - when he told the story of how he came to write his first and second novels.  This is mostly interesting only if you are a Chabon fan, but if you have an interest in Jewish authors generally, or in comic books or genre writing there might be something for you here too.  I think you’d be better off just reading Wonder Boys, or Kavalier & Clay, though.

*One of my favorite books of 2007!

Date/Place Completed: 11/29/08; D.C.

Categories: Non-Fiction; Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017