Moonglow by Michael Chabon


Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy usIn 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California to visit his terminal...

Details Moonglow

Release DateNov 22nd, 2016
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Reviews Moonglow

  • Paromjit
    Michael Chabon pulls off a hybrid memoir and a contested fictional multigenerational family history peppered with anecdotes and stories from his heavily medicated grandfather on his deathbed. Chabon unashamedly states its fictional roots and perhaps questions the concept of a factual memoir, how much of a memoir can be said to be true when peoples' memories are notoriously unreliable? Can a memoir be free from an agenda? How much is the truth emb...
  • Elyse Walters
    "'Moonglow' has been looked up 2315 times, is no one's favorite word yet, has been added to 3 lists, has 1 comment, and is not a valid SCRABBLE word". Michael Chabon: I love your classy name - your books -and your wonderful talented -courageous wife: author Ayelet Waldman. So before I begin my review I have a few things to say local boy!I own every physical book - written - by 'both' Michael and Ayelet. --BAY AREA AUTHORS -- spotlight voices with...
  • Angela M
    4.5 stars Michael Chabon has held a place in my literary heart ever since I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and has insured that place with his latest book. Chabon's inspiration for the book were the stories his grandfather told while he was on pain killers and close to death. In his opening author's note, though he warns us that what we will soon be reading may not exactly be true. " In preparing this memoir, I have stuck to the f...
  • Darwin8u
    "I see the hidden lovers, fates entangled like their bodies, waiting for release from the gravity that held them down all their lives."- Michael Chabon, MoonglowFantastic. I needed to chew on this for a night, to stare at the moon, dream, and fantasize about what I really wanted to say -- and write my panegyric in a delicate space after the book. First, I sometimes wonder if there is a genre Chabon can't master with his metaphors, his exuberance ...
  • Diane S ☔
    Memoir, fictional novel, exaggerations or just Chabon's musings, whichever way you choose to look at it, just know this book was written with a great deal of love. It shines through in the writing.As his grandfather laid dying he shared stories of his life with his grandson. Let me tell you this man lived many different lives, tried to kill his boss, blow up a bridge, spent time in prison, worked for the space program designing model rockets and ...
  • Violet wells
    Just as you sense some authors haven’t yet written their best book – Zadie Smith? - you feel others have already written their masterpiece and no matter how many more they write they will never quite top it. Nicole Krauss with The History of Love springs to mind. As does Chabon with The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I’d be amazed if he ever tops that. Moonglow doesn’t but nevertheless it is a thrilling and highly distinguished ac...
  • Cheri
    4.5 StarsChabon’s Author’s Note at the beginning of Moonglow this states:In preparing this memoir, I have stuck to facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it. Wherever liberties have been taken with names, dates, places, events, and conversations, or with the identities, motivations, and interrelationships of family members and historical personages, the reader is assur...
  • Julie
    I started Moonglow last week on a park bench, outside of my daughters' day camp, and by page 3, I knew, with total confidence, that as soon as I finished the book, I'd be reading it again.By page 10, I was digging in my purse for my post-it notes and my pen, refusing to avert my eyes from the page to do so, pen cap in my mouth, scrawling Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5, and is Chabon the Philip Roth of Philadelphia?, and perhaps madness is caused...
  • Sean Gibson
    Given the opportunity, and if I could work out the mechanics of it, I would do some things to Michael Chabon’s prose, things that would make Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson blush. Because that stuff is purty. The hallmark of true greatness (and let’s call the requirements for greatness a combination of natural talent and aptitude, sweat equity, and single-minded devotion to craft) is making something exceedingly difficult look effortless (a litt...
  • Julie
    Moonglow by Michael Chabon is a 2016 Harper publication. I must admit, up front, that I’ve never a book by this author. That is not to say I don’t have his books sitting on my shelves or loaded onto my Kindle, because I do. However, I’ve never managed to get around to reading them. My library was really pushing this book recently, so I placed a hold on it. Shockingly, few people were ahead of me, so I nabbed a copy almost immediately. Havin...
  • Sam
    "I'm disappointed in myself. In my life. All my life, everything I tried, I only got halfway there. You try to take advantage of the time you have. That's what they tell you to do. But when you're old, you look back and you see all you did with all that time is waste it. All you have is a story of things you never started or couldn't finish. Things you fought with all your heart to build that didn't last or fought with all your heart to get rid o...
  • Rebecca
    Chabon’s seventh novel was inspired by his maternal grandfather’s deathbed confessions in 1989—or was it? A tongue-in-cheek author’s note refers to this as a “memoir,” and it’s narrated by “Mike Chabon,” but he and “Grandfather” (never named) are characters here in the same way that Jonathan Safran Foer and his ancestors are in Everything Is Illuminated. Space travel and explosives are Grandfather’s lifelong obsessions. Th...
  • BlackOxford
    Dimly Reflected EmotionsSadly Gary Cooper never made a film with Vivien Leigh. But with a script like Moonglow, they couldn’t have avoided it. The omni-competent nice guy and the sexy but flakey European as his wife are parts made for them (the required French accent wouldn’t have been all that far from her role in A Streetcar Named Desire). With all the necessary schmaltz, Yiddish wit, and Holocaust sub-text, it would have been instant boffo...
  • Perry
    A Magnificent Chiaroscuro We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon; How restlessly they speed and gleam and quiver,Streaking the darkness radiantly! yet soonNight closes round, and they are lost for ever:-- "Mutability," Percy Bysshe ShelleyMoonglow, Michael Chabon's brilliantly constructed narrative, documents the narrator's conversations with his dying grandfather that travel back and forth between the grandfather on his deathbed and the st...
  • Matthew Quann
    This is my third book from Michael Chabon. Chabon never writes the same book twice, and each book has been terrific in its own way. His endlessly celebrated—and one of my all-time favourite novels— The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay trades comic book shtick with political and societal upheaval while building some of the most memorable character moments I’ve ever read. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union , by contrast, is a gumshoe noir ...
  • Ron Charles
    “Moonglow” is a wondrous book that celebrates the power of family bonds and the slipperiness of memory. Chabon suggests that it was written as an act of rebellion against his upbringing. “Keeping secrets was the family business,” he says, “but it was a business that none of us ever profited from.” His courage to break that code of silence was inspired by stories his dying grandfather told him more than 25 years ago. “His fetish for ...
  • Katie
    Though this is billed as a memoir it reads like a riveting novel. It's surprising how a life can be organised into a watertight constellation where everything falls so neatly into the place. Aren't lives messy and disordered and unfinished? Chabon's grandparents though are a novelist's dream. The grandfather is an amateur rocket enthusiast. During the war he is part of a special operation tasked with finding the designer of the V2 rocket before t...
  • Emma
    Like so many others, Michael Chabon won me over with The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and this novel/memoir (?) looked to be infused with the same kinds of playfulness and seriousness. The opening promise that the author had 'stuck to facts except when facts refused to conform to memory, narrative purpose or the truth as I prefer to understand it' speaks so much to how we all construct our memories and especially the ways in which we rel...
  • Brandon Forsyth
    Every so often, there comes a book that is so heartbreakingly real and so stylistically accomplished that it makes you feel like you're never going to pick up another book again, because what would be the point? Then there are those times when a book so sparks you with a love of narrative and of your fellow people, that you want to rush out and just smother yourself in stories. Michael Chabon's latest is, somehow, both of these. Easily my favouri...
  • PattyMacDotComma
    Update - great interview explaining the fiction★“The girl’s lips were painted red as Bicycle hearts and diamonds, and they parted to reveal an Ingrid Bergman smile to go with the sunglasses. My grandfather heard a sound inside his head that he compared, years later, to the freight-train rumble of an earthquake. He felt he was standing in the path of something fast-moving and gigantic that, in its bl...
  • Sue
    This is my first experience reading Michael Chabon. It won't be the last. This work has captivated me for the past week as I moved from story to story with "Mike" as his grandfather related the experiences of his lifetime. The whole notion of a fictionalized autobiography left me rather cold before reading Moonglow. Now I'm a convert...I believe that a truly skilled writer can inspire me, thrill me, using unexpected literary combinations....espec...
  • Nancy
    Sometimes I finish a book, and I loved it, but I feel too puny a mind to say anything to do it justice. I just am not learned enough, wise enough, deep enough. I am at a loss for words.Moonglow by Michael Chabon sat on my Edelweiss shelf for 45 days until I could finally make a space to read it, read 'out of order', as I read based on a book's publication date. I have enjoyed all the novels I've read by Chabon: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Wo...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I started this one and then set it aside, uncertain if I felt like finishing it. I lugged it to Baltimore with me, knowing I would likely not have time to read it, because some of it is set there. This is a novel about family memory and legacy, and goes back and forth between a somewhat fictional "Mike" interviewing his grandfather on his death bed and scenes in the history of his grandfather's life. Sometimes it feels like Gravity's Rainbow fanf...
  • Roger Brunyate
     Brilliant . . . so what's my problem? In preparing this memoir, I have stuck to facts except when facts refused to confirm with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it. Whatever liberties have been taken with names, dates, places, events, and conversations, or with identities, motivations, and interrelationships of family members and historical personages, the reader is assured that they have been taken with due aba...
  • Adam Dalva
    Chabon's skill on the line-level, that cascade of perfect, idiosyncratic sentences, has never left him, but his iffy choices of subject matter over the last 15 years has rendered him somewhat invisible. (Though his Spiderman 2 is the secret high-point of the superhero movie era). This fade into the background of literature is the hazard of the mid-career artist, but after reading his wonderful essay about his son at Paris fashion week (http://www...
  • Fabian
    Grandfather's deathbed confessions: the type of stuff REAL authors take on. Classy, refined...autobiographical and therefore affecting. But early on Chabon mentions that yep, this is A NOVEL. The protagonist's grandkid is the writer, so this is second hand, but has a hint of fiction. But where is it? What is the ruse in this novel that is more of an extended multi-part anecdote, in fact, than a contrived, or classical, plot? "Moonglow" is bouncy-...
  • Harry Remer
    I've adored and championed Michael Chabon's books since away back in the '80s, with Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Like him, I'm an intellectual Jew, born within a year of him, and with many of the same cultural references. For years, he was to me what Phillip Roth was for my father: a funhouse mirror of my times and fascinations, as well as a lens through which to freshly grasp history and world events. Most of all, he was just plain fun to read. Like...
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    This is a heartwarming fictional biography, maybe, of Michael Chabon's grandfather, possibly.The title 'reflects' it all - moonglow is mirrored light, not an actual glowing of original inner light, gentle reader...I can't decide if this book is a biographical fiction or a fictionalized biography. Whatever. It is a touching panagyric for a man who had a, to me, romantic life, despite that he obviously hated sentimentality and any florid display of...
  • Mike W
    Said to be inspired by a stoic grandfather's sudden verbosity on his deathbed, Moonglow is fictionalized account of Chabon's family that focuses mainly on his maternal grandparents.Like Knausgaard's fictional memoirs, one is never sure where the truth starts or stops, and with that fiction label it really doesn't matter. The story feels true however, and I found myself forgetting at times that at the very least it is truth exaggerated or signific...