By Michael Chabon
I read this book because Brad loved it so much. It’s kind of the opposite of My Struggle: My Struggle was an autobiography written as a novel whereas Moonglow is a novel written as an autobiography. The novel is about Michael’s grandfather, except not his real grandfather but an imagined one.
The grandfather has a larger than life feeling. Incredibly hot-headed but also incredibly intelligent. Loyal to the bone. A rough life, a life of getting in trouble, of trying to keep his wife, a Jewess who survived WWII in Europe, together, though her problems span the book. The grandfather is an engineer. He is telling Michael his stories on his deathbed and the stories are never-ending and astounding.
The book is engaging though I pause about halfway through and end up finishing it on a bus to NYC. It’s a great book, but the grandeur of the grandfather bothered me — is anyone really like that? So interesting, so smart, so much drama? It didn’t have that subdued, real feeling of most literary novels that attempt to bring real people into the swing, real people who have long patches of boring life.