Friday, August 15, 2008
Audiobook: Gentlemen of the Road
Subtitle: A Tale of Adventure
Written by: Michael Chabon
Read by: Andre Braugher
It took me a bit to warm up to this book, but I blame my own failure to read either the subtitle or the blurb on the back of the box for my initial lack of enthusiasm. Having no idea where the book was set or who were its characters, combined with the reading of various quotes at the beginning of the book, which are less obvious, when heard, as separate from the story, I started out with something of a handicap. I'm glad that I stuck it out, though, because the story was enjoyable, the writing was wonderfully descriptive, and even if the action was set in a very different time than the language used to tell it, the afterword by the author was worth the whole investment. The working title of the book was something other than the published title, and I'll leave it to y'all to find out for yourselves what it was. Braugher does a fine job as reader, as well. His voice is rich and comforting, and his expressiveness adds a nice layer to the story. I'll probably try to find out if he's done any other audiobooks (could he be my new Scott Brick?).
I've been a fan of Chabon's ever since The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which I first read so long ago that I can't even remember when it was-- in college? Just after? It's one of my favorite books, and the writing is so good it's one of the few that I have read multiple times (the others being J.D. Salinger's, well, all of his stuff, John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, and Madeleine L'Engle's Ring of Endless Light). I haven't been keeping track of his more recent work, and this book inspires me to get through the backlog of titles Chabon's been cranking out since I quit paying attention, in addition to another read of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, a perfect book for the end of summer.
I would definitely recommend this audiobook as a delightful accompaniment to any long-distance car ride. At just over 4 hours, it's the perfect length for, well, a visit from Cleveland to Pittsburgh.
(Pssst: The photo of the book is a link, too, because I finally realized I could do that.)