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Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure (2007)

by Michael Chabon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,6861353,929 (3.45)1 / 261
A physician and an ex-soldier travel together making their way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa a.d. 950. They meet a prince of the Khazar Empire who was usurped by his uncle and he enlists their help to regain his throne.
  1. 50
    The First Book of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber (Runkst)
  2. 30
    The Second Book of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Amram and Zelikman are clearly based on Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, the story the sort of adventure they might have got up to.
  3. 00
    The Abyssinian by Jean-Christophe Rufin (Limelite)
    Limelite: Same formula of the picaqresque mold: hero with sidekick, The Girl, and high adventure, deception, and danger in an exotic setting and in historical times. And a humorous romp, too.
  4. 00
    The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington (nessreader)
  5. 11
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (MarkYoung)
    MarkYoung: Similar humour, in this intelligent historical novel.
  6. 00
    Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (PghDragonMan)
  7. 00
    City of Thieves by David Benioff (2810michael)
  8. 00
    The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey (MarthaJeanne)
    MarthaJeanne: Two unlikely partners who come in and save the day due to knowledge and intelligence more than swordmanship, although they have that too.
  9. 13
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (MarkYoung)
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» See also 261 mentions

English (129)  French (3)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (135)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
Short adventure book. Chabon has an incredible vocabulary. Very fun and "boyish". ( )
  agdesilva | Feb 15, 2021 |
Here's your template for a three-star novel: one that you enjoy reading but is pretty much instantly gone from your mind by the time it's over. After stuff like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, etc. it feels like Chabon just phoned this one in. There's an abrupt shift into high gear at the end of the story when the big plan comes together and the writing goes into overdrive, but Chabon takes some of the wind out of his own sails with an afterword that reads more like an apology. Not really worth the trip, but a pleasant enough distraction at times. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Enjoyed it but not enough that I didn't sneak two other books in between starting and finishing it. The book's a bit of a haze of names of groups of people I wasn't much familiar with, so I read mostly for the sword fights and the humor and felt like I was giving short shrift to the history and culture it invites further understanding of. It's a very short read. The afterword, in which Chabon makes sort of a defense of his having written such a book, is a nice little read. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Too many characters for me to follow with language too verbose. I could fall asleep in the lap of beautiful words, but to actually follow a story takes too much concentration on recalling and summarizing what just happened, and I don't find myself caring much about the principals.

Maybe I need to read Chabon on paper. This is my second audiobook attempt, and my second abandoned book.... ( )
  pammab | Nov 16, 2020 |
A radical departure for M. Chabon's a trip to 9th century near east populated by Khazars, Rus and Vikings, a fun trip. ( )
  charlie68 | May 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
The plot and voice of “Gentlemen of the Road” recall the stories found in 19th-century dime novels and the fantastic escapades invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. Gary Gianni’s drawings highlight particularly thrilling moments, and with chapter titles like “On the Observance of the Fourth Commandment Among Horse Thieves” and “On Swimming to the Library at the Heart of the World,” Chabon works old-fashioned niceties into a postmodern pastiche.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chabon, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gianni, GaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Philippe, Isabelle-DTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Despising all my glory, abandoning my high estate, leaving my family, I would go over mountains and hills, through seas and lands, till I should arrive at the place where my Lord the King resides, that i might see not only his glory and magnificence, and that of his servants and ministers, but also the tranquility of the Israelites. On beholding this my eyes would brighten, my reins would exult, my lips would pour forth praises to God, who has not withdrawn his favor from his afflicted ones.
—letter of Hasdai Ibn Shaprut,
minister of the Caliph of Spain, to Joseph,
ruler of Khazaria, circa 960
From now on, I'll describe the cities to you," the Khan had said, "in your journeys you will see if they exist."
—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Dedication
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
À Michael Moorcock
First words
For numberless years a myna had astounded travelers to the caravansary with its ability to spew indecencies in ten languages, and before the fight broke out everyone assumed the old blue-tongued devil on its perch by the fireplace was the one who maligned the giant African with such foulness and verve.
Quotations
On that plain of mud and grass and staring faces, along the battlements and bartizans of the walls of Atil barbed with pikemen and archers, from the Black Sea to the Sea of Khazar, from the Urals to the Caucasus, there was no sound but the wind in the grass, the clop of a sidestepping horse, the broken breathing of the Little Elephant, Filaq, with whom they had marched and slept and shivered, the son, the prince they had raised up on their sholders to rule them as their bek, the revenger of the rape of their sisters and teh burning of their houses and the pillage of their goods. All Zelikman's disdain, all his resentment toward the foul-mouthed spoiled stripling who had plagued him since the rescue at the carvansary vanished with the double shock of the elephant's slaughter and the revelation. In their place he felt only pity for a white thing flecked with mud, a motherless girl, drooping in the grip of the soldier like a captured flag.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A physician and an ex-soldier travel together making their way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa a.d. 950. They meet a prince of the Khazar Empire who was usurped by his uncle and he enlists their help to regain his throne.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Tom Petty in the Don't Around Here No More video and Michael Clark Duncan's dad are Jewish cut-throats/anti-heroes in 900 AD.
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