In his latest impressive effort, Telegraph Avenue, Chabon explores a wide range of social and cultural issues, with a small, struggling record store at the metaphorical center. It’s 2004 at the crossroads of Berkeley and Oakland, where Brokeland Records is taking its last gasp. Vinyl records still have cache, but the sliver of profit margin may soon disappear, as a former football star promises to open a nearby chain store that would likely bankrupt Brokeland.
Subplots of race relations, political turmoil (this is, of course, the year of the Bush/Kerry election), lifelong friendships and unexpected family drama all play a part in this nostalgia-filled romp. In true Chabon style, you can expect plenty of pop-culture references and inventive asides that give this particular time and place a distinctive and palpable presence.
NOOK owners: go to shop and search for "Michael Chabon" to pre-order this impressive novel now.