Moonglow

Michael Chabon

‘Entirely sure footed, propulsive, the work of a master at his very best. The brilliance of Moonglow stands as a strident defence of the form itself, a bravura demonstration of the endless mutability and versatility of the novel’ Observer

‘The world, like the Tower of Babel or my grandmother’s deck of cards, was made out of stories, and it was always on the verge of collapse.’

Moonglow unfolds as a deathbed confession. An old man, his tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, his memory stirred by the imminence of death, tells stories to his grandson, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried. Why did he try to strangle a former business partner with a telephone cord? What was he thinking when he and a buddy set explosives on a bridge in Washington, D.C.? What did he feel while he hunted down Wernher von Braun in Germany? And what did he see in the young girl he met in Baltimore after returning home from the war?

From the Jewish slums of pre-war Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of a New York prison, from the heyday of the space programme to the twilight of ‘the American Century’, Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week.

Reviews of Moonglow

    • ‘The product of a writer in full command of his novelistic faculties … Not only probably Chabon’s greatest, but an example of a piece of sustained writing that will be hard to see outdone in 2017’ The Times
    • ‘Funny, moving and tremendously entertaining, this is a novel about the narratives we construct for ourselves and the need we have for them, one that confirms Chabon not just as an irresistible tale-teller, but also a master’ Daily Mail
    • ‘A masterclass in storytelling’ Independent
    • ‘Entirely sure footed, propulsive, the work of a master at his very best. The brilliance of Moonglow stands as a strident defence of the form itself, a bravura demonstration of the endless mutability and versatility of the novel’ Observer
    • ‘Chabon’s storytelling is so characteristically exuberant, the narratives so unfailingly rich’ Telegraph
    • ‘”It doesn’t add up to anything,” stated the grandfather, as he looks back at his life. “It doesn’t mean anything.” Luminous with love, Moonglow is here to show us that it does’ Irish Independent
    • ‘Chabon is virtuoso’ Irish Times
    • ‘Moving, wry, thoroughly entertaining’ FT
    • ‘Much of Moonglow feels Dickensian in style, and as with Dickens it is rich in sentiment. This is to the novel’s credit … Exquisite’ TLS
    • ‘Comparable to the young Paul Auster … It’s as intriguing as a locked room mystery, but in keeping with Chabon’s canon, also has a heart the size of an elephant’ Big Issue
    • ‘A wondrous book that celebrates the power of family bonds and the slipperiness of memory … A thoroughly enchanting story’ The Washington Post
    • ‘A rich and exotic confection … This book is beautiful’ New York Times
    • ‘A poignant, engrossing triumph’ People
    • ‘Chabon is one of contemporary literature’s most gifted prose stylists … In Moonglow, he writes with both lovely lyricism and highly caffeinated fervour’ Michiko Kakutani, New York Times