Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon | Teen Ink

Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon MAG

February 4, 2009

Michael Chabon has earned his place in my mind as one of the greatest writers alive. The Christian Science Monitor called him, “Simply the coolest writer in America,” and I strongly agree.

Several years ago I read Summerland, his young adult novel, which in terms of writing and storytelling blew away anything I had read. It instantly became my favorite book and has remained in that lofty position for many years.

Gentlemen of the Road, Chabon’s most recent work, is a shorter but no less complex read. It is the story of Amram, an African ex-soldier, and Zelikman, a moody and introverted physician. It takes place in Khazaria, which bordered the Black and Caspian Seas, around 950 A.D., in the days of the Frankish Kingdom and the Byzantine Empire.

A masterpiece of historical fiction, Gentlemen of the Road is a tale of these men’s encounter and ensuing relationship with Filaq, the young and haughty self-proclaimed rightful prince of Khazaria, who has been denied the throne.

Chabon’s writing resembles Patrick Fitzgerald and other more wordy authors. The first chapter was a bit hard to read, but I got used to his style as the story progressed. By the end, I was having no problem with the writing style; it even appealed to me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but won’t get frustrated with a complicated vocabulary and unknown geography.

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