Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I am about 1/4 of the way into the new book and it is great. There are lots of nods to mystery plots, the main one is that the detective can't leave well enough alone and is investigating a crime no one want investigated.

The book is also an exploration of different sorts of Jewishness. I think Chabon is arguing the classic loose cannon detective is similar to a certain kind of secular Jew. In particular his character notes that his people (although he is speaking particularly of himself) can't leave well enough alone and act out spite more times than not. That is a good description of a detective in a mystery novel at least.

The Post had an online chat with him yesterday, the transcript is here. There are lots of interesting bits about his writing, but I was also pleased to learn about a fourth His Dark Materials book and to learn about writers Chabon considers under-recognized. Of the six, I had only read two (Furst and Elmore Leonard's Western novels,) so I am happy for new books to seek.

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