Book reviews are piling up again. First on the pile is Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon.
This book is something of a departure for me -- it's a mainstream novel. It's historical, but with no fantasy elements at all, and written by an up and coming Literary Author. And I picked it up because it actually sounded good in a review on All Things Considered.
From the opening few pages, it was clear that this was an author who enjoyed words and was artful in using them. His sentences are artful without being annoying, and he actually uses words I don't really know (though I can pick them up pretty well from context) more often than anybody but Gene Wolfe. It was quite entertaining at the beginning, but unfortunately it didn't quite hold to such a high level. It read very much like a fantasy novel, just without any creatures more fantastic than elephants, or practitioners of any arts more arcane than medicine. To the sort of people who wouldn't be caught dead reading a genre novel, it was probably a really eye-opening experience, but to me, it was just a fairly average-quality adventure plot. Well enough told to be enjoyable, but nothing truly amazing; good but not great. 8 out of 10.
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