Thursday, May 7, 2015

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

I read Telegraph Avenue for one of the first books in a local book club I joined, affectionally referring it to Al's Basement Book Club. I'd never read a Chabon book, although I'd heard of plenty without knowing it. I admit to not remembering a whole lot, but bits and pieces of the conflicts and relationships in the book. It was good, sad, and funny. I liked it especially because of the random references to things I love, like Star Wars, James Bond, and cheese. Plus there's the way he said things, like the quotes on pages 8 and 267. It's so conversational, it was fun to read.
Baby Rolando had a nice, solid feel to him, a bunch of rolled socks stuffed inside one big sock, dense and sleepy, not one of those scrawny flapping-chicken babies one ran across from time to time. 8

Ninety-seven percent was more of less the degree to which Gwen disbelieved in everything that people represented, attested to, or tried to put over on you. 47

He reached up and out with both arms to shoot his cuffs, and for an instant he might have served to illustrate the crucial step in a manual on the seizing of days. He had already seized this particular day once, but he was prepared, if need be, to go ahead and seize the motherfucker all over again. 69

…there being, of course, as Archy often explained to Nat, a profound spiritual analogy, hole and all, between donuts and vinyl records. 116

…adopted the surprising identity of a soul-jazz Zorro, fingertips fencing with the drawbars and keys. 129

she fell into his lap, panicking the chair. 157

When, to the contrary, Luther Stallings at one time had stood in full possession of a definite article, not to mention two capital letters. Was most definitely The Shit. 267

With Blofeldian alacrity, a steel door rolled down behind him. 304

I’m going to start stocking up on files for the cakes. 311

They had the charm of cement and the elegance of cinderblocks, but they held her feet without pain or structural failure, and it seemed to her that the librarian-nun vibe they exuded was also not incompatible with the kicking of ass. 320

Fuck you, music! Music is Satan. We serve its hidden agenda. It’s like a virus from space, the Andromeda strain, propagating itself. We’re just vectors for the contagion. Music is the secret puppet master. 363

Music actually has us to the point, we’re walking around with fucking pods, with buds in our ears. Nah, I’m out. I think I’m going to get into, like, I don’t know, cheesemongering. I’m going to monger cheese. You can help me. Forget birthing babies. Christ, we already have enough babies in the world. What we need more of is really good cheese. … Wait no, fuck cheese. Cheese is all about spores and, and, molds and all that shit. Maybe cheese is trying to colonize our brains, too. Cheese and music duking it out for control of the human nervous system. 363

They were like the kids in that newspaper comic, white nerd, black nerd, pretending at the bus stop on this fine Sunday morning that they were Jedi knights, samurais. Lost so deep in the dream, they didn’t have the sense to be embarrassed. 385

Not even God could hold onto the love of Israel in the desert without the jewelry getting melted down, now and then, to make a calf. 409

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