“Moonglow” by Michael Chabon

Chabon plays heavily with the boundary between novel and memoir (for starters, the narrator is a novelist named “Michael Chabon”), jumping back and forth to various points in his grandfather’s life (as a Jewish boy in Philadelphia, a soldier in WW2 chasing Werner von Braun, a husband post-war, and as an old man and widower in the near-past). The “is it real or not?” aspect reminded me of a wonderful experience in high school reading Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried (taught by the co-proprietor of this lovely blog); I have resisted the temptation to try to find out what parts are real-real. Overall I thought a wonderful story. I will admit to finding one thread (relating to the history of the narrator’s grandmother) a bit puzzling — I didn’t feel like it exactly fit in — but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.

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