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Moonglow by Michael Chabon
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Moonglow (2016)

by Michael Chabon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0795711,291 (3.95)139

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» See also 139 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I started to read this without knowing anything about it and accepted it initially as a biographical memoir, albeit one with a "health" warning regarding it's use of facts. I very soon realised that there is little to be gained by trying to work out what is fact (an impossible task anyway) and to accept it as a work of fiction with roots in fact. On this basis Chabon creates a multilayered kaleidoscopic delight of a novel, not so much magical as unreal realism. He explores with delight the cracks between the hard biographical facts to show how much that we value, much that makes us what we are, much that is passed on from generation to generation is found in those cracks. In the end, I felt that Chabon had revealed alot about himself whilst telling us very little, and even less that could be relied on as fact. 22 September 2018. ( )
  alanca | Oct 2, 2018 |
A novel/memoir about Michael Chabon’s grandfather, covering World War II, his marriage, his interest in rockets, his career and jail time. The stories were primarily collected from his grandfather on his death bed. It’s a slow read, but the way it was written- trying to make meaning of an ordinary life- kept my interested and motivated to finish. ( )
  nheredia05 | Jun 12, 2018 |
It is written as though it is autobiographical, although Chabon playfully suggests in the prologue that much of it is imagined. Michael’s grandfather is the central character in the book. In the last few weeks before he dies in the early 1990s, he tells Michael stories that tie together various strands of memory and family folklore. The book moves back and forth in time to various episodes in the grandfather’s life. The central mystery – which is revealed only at the end – is Michael’s grandmother, who was a traumatized refugee after WWII, suffered from severe mental illness throughout her adult life and, it turns out, invented most of the central elements of her life story. (The grandfather intentionally asked not to be told this secret, which came out during a hospitalization.) Although she claimed to be the daughter of affluent French Jews who owned a tannery and who perished in the Holocaust, she actually “borrowed” most of this life story from a friend she met in a refugee camp. WWII was also the pivotal time in the grandfather’s life. He was an intelligence officer whose mission is to kidnap Werner von Braun. This episode triggers the grandfather’s lifelong fascination with rockets and space exploration, which is a leitmotif through the book and the inspiration for the title. ( )
  davidel | May 10, 2018 |
A complex character study based on the author's grandfather who was obsessed with rockets and, during World War II, was tracking down Dr. Von Braun, the Nazi who led in the design of rockets and was later a critical part of the US space program. The grandmother is a mentally ill but seductive survivor of the war in Europe... who escaped with her daughter, the author's mother. Life for all was constantly in chaos, due to the grandmother's insanity and the grandfather's smoldering anger at the world. At the end of his life, the grandfather shares stories of all their lives with the author, who fictionalizes at it suits him. ( )
  bookfest | Apr 17, 2018 |
A great mishmash of a novel. It didn't grip me straight away, but after I tuned in to the themes (and got my head around the timeline) I was rewarded with an excellent story of love, ambition, Jews and the Moon. A fine book to remind us all that old people weren't always old - and being old isn't being dead, either..! ( )
  alexrichman | Apr 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This is a novel that, despite its chronological lurches, feels 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.
 
One can read Chabon’s novel as an exploration of anger—a study of how one man’s innate rage is exacerbated by the horrors of the twentieth century and by their impact on his personal history.
added by melmore | editNew York Review of Books, Francine Prose (pay site) (Dec 22, 2016)
 
“Moonglow” is another scale model of love and death and catastrophe. It’s another reminder that we live in a broken world. And fiction, Chabon said, “is an attempt to mend it.”
 
And this book, a love letter to two temperamentally opposite grandparents — one a rational, practical American, the other a dreamy, romantic European — is also an account of their formative influences on the writer their grandson would become.

These are not so much explained as felt, woven into the very fabric of Chabon’s supple and resourceful prose. He brings the world of his grandparents to life in language that seems to partake of their essences.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, A. O. Scott (Nov 18, 2016)
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chabon, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Newbern, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark.
-Wernher von Braun
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To them, seriously
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This is how I heard the story.
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Book description
A man bears witness to his grandfather's deathbed confessions, which reveal his family's long-buried history and his involvement in a mail-order novelty company, World War II, and the space program.
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"Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as "my grandfather." It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact--and the creative power--of keeping secrets and telling lies."--Dust jacket.… (more)

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