Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Michael Chabon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,485725,005 (3.48)104
Title:Telegraph Avenue
Authors:Michael Chabon
Info:HarperCollins (2013), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, California

Work details

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (2012)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 104 mentions

English (70)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All (72)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Spot on, and very funny.
  revliz | Jul 10, 2017 |
I love me some Chabon, and this book didn't disappoint. The book is about two friends who own a record store in Oakland and are fighting to keep it going when they hear news of a new blockbuster shopping center moving in down the block, complete with a two-story music section. Filled with wry humor and Chabon's typically sharp observations about American popular culture. I recommend the ebook, which comes with some extras: video interviews with Chabon, illustrations, and a recommended playlist. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
More like 3.5 stars. Chabon certainly has a wonderful and evocative way with words, and I found many of the characters nicely fleshed out (especially the two teenagers Julie and Titus.) others I felt were only partially formed, and at times the interplay between them could border on false. Also, the end was too pat. ALSO I dislike books with an "everything is connected and nothing is coincidence" theme which this teetered dangerously close to at times . To sum up: Not my favorite of his, but I didn't hate it. ( )
  abbeyhar | Nov 8, 2016 |
“They were little more than boys, and yet while they differed in race, in temperament, and in their understanding of love, they were united in this: The remnant of their boyhood was a ballast they wished to cut away.”

“The past was irretrievable, the league of lonely men a fiction, the pursuit of the past a doomed attempt to run a hustle on mortality.”

Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are longtime friends and they run a funky little record shop called Brokeland Records. It is located on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. Archy is thirty-six and expecting his first child. A big-shot, businessman wants to buy out their store and open a megastore. It is tempting, since the store is a fading relic and they struggle to survive but there are plenty of conflicting forces, keeping them from pulling the trigger.

This novel is a mosiac of pop culture, filled with music references, mostly classic jazz and soul, films from the 70s, Blaxploitation and Bruce Lee movies. A Tarantino tapestry, told in smart, fast-paced prose, that Chabon makes looks so smooth and easy. The characters are vivid and memorable. A nice companion piece to High Fidelity and it is refreshing to see African Americans characters, front and center. ( )
  msf59 | Oct 9, 2016 |
Slogging, dragging through Chabon's Oakland. Somehow Yiddish in Alaska or even comic book blurbs in New York were easier going. Welll I ran out of steam about two hundred pages in and the library wanted it back. I am cheating and moving it over to read (past tense). ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
“Telegraph Avenue,” Michael Chabon’s rich, comic new novel, is a homage to an actual place: the boulevard in Northern California where Oakland — historically an African-American city — aligns with Berkeley, whose bourgeois white inhabitants are, as one character puts it, “liable to invest all their hope of heaven in the taste of an egg laid in the backyard by a heritage-breed chicken.” The novel is equally a tribute to the cinematic style of Quentin Tarantino, whose films its characters study and discuss, and whose preoccupations pepper its pages: kung fu, cinematic allusions and the blaxploitation films of the 1970s; and an interest in African-American characters and experience. Chabon and Tarantino make an unlikely duo; while the latter’s films tend toward gaudy eruptions of violence, Chabon bends Tarantino’s sensibility to a warmhearted novel about fatherhood in which the onstage violence consists of two graphic childbirth scenes and a 15-year-old boy whacking a chubby thug with a wooden sword. A self-help book in the style of Andrei Tarkovsky would be hardly more oxymoronic.
Mr. Chabon has constructed an amazingly rich, emotionally detailed story that addresses his perennial themes — about fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and the consolations of art — while reaching outward to explore the relationship between time past and time present, the weight (or lightness, as the case may be) of history, and the possibility of redemption and forgiveness.

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chabon, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peters, ClarkeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Call me Ishmael.

--Ishmael Reed, probably.
To Ayelet, from the drop of the needle to the innermost groove
First words
A white boy rode flatfoot on a skateboard, towed along, hand to shoulder, by a black boy pedaling a brakeless fixed-gear bike.
Like a dog in a cartoon, forepaws a turbine blur as he hunted up a buried bone in a churn of dirt, Nat excavated the cabinets and ransacked the drawers looking for usable serving containers and suitable platters.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
One street in Oakland, California. As the summer draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are hanging in there, co-regents of Brokeland Records. Their wives, Gwen and Aviva, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of legendary midwives.

When former star quarterback Gibson Goode announces plans to dump his latest Dogpile megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear the worst for their vulnerable little enterprise, as behind Goode’s proposal lurks a nefarious scheme.

While their husbands struggle to mount a defence, Aviva and Gwen find themselves caught up in a professional battle that tests their friendship. And into their already tangled lives comes Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

In this novel the author takes us to Telegraph Avenue. It is a story that explores the profoundly intertwined lives of two Oakland, California families, one black and one white. Here he creates a world grounded in pop culture: Kung Fu, 1970s Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music, and an epic of friendship, race, and secret histories. Longtime band mates Archy and Nat preside over Brokeland Records, a used-record emporium. All is well until a former NFL quarterback, one of the country's richest African Americans, decides to build his latest Dogpile megastore on nearby Telegraph Avenue. Not only could this spell doom for the little shop and its cross-race, cross-class dream, but it opens up past history regarding Archy's untethered dad and a Black Panther-era crime.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
444 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.48)
0.5 1
1 13
1.5 1
2 28
2.5 12
3 81
3.5 31
4 108
4.5 13
5 40

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,225,588 books! | Top bar: Always visible