Monday, May 14, 2007

You're Too Discerning to be Swayed by an Interview? How About Some Unbiased Reviews?

The New York Times seems to dig the new novel, praising his imaginative setting, characters, and metaphors (always the tipping point in a book's purchase, no?).

New York Magazine likes it, although they, too, feel that Chabon was "limited by the detective story’s familiar machinery."

The Boston Globe is a little less effusive, complaining that "too often Chabon's affections -- for the elegant enigmas of chess, for the modern tragedy of the Jews, for verbal acrobatics and literary shenanigans -- turn into a wild display of warring talents, compromising the structural integrity of the novel and turning its hair pin plot twists into a drive off a cliff." Keep in mind, though, that this 'structural integrity' complaint is made in a fifty-one word sentence.

The LA Times gives it a 'thumbs-up', saying that it is "a spiritual descendant of (Chabon's Pulitzer prize winning novel) Kavalier & Clay," and "a book that expands on the sensibility of the earlier novel and its roots in Jewish storytelling."