Matt Thorne

On Mischief Bent

Gentlemen of the Road


Sceptre 224pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Among contemporary American authors, Michael Chabon enjoys perhaps the most freedom, able to move from highbrow to lowbrow without losing his audience or troubling his publishers. Unlike many novelists he seems able to view each project as completely separate, not worrying that each book should be a significant statement but instead building up an oeuvre that impresses most in its diversity. Recently he even contributed the storyline for Spiderman 2: it’s hard to imagine John Updike or Philip Roth adapting Marvel comics.

Gentlemen of the Road is the second novel Chabon has published this year, following the alternative history novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, but it was actually written before his last book and first appeared as a fifteen-part serialisation in the New York Times magazine. One indication that Chabon might be up to mischief in this book is its original title, Jews with Swords; another is that the novel is dedicated to Michael Moorcock, the astonishingly prolific British novelist who also moves freely between genres.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,