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Summary

Michael Chabon masterfully renders the funny, tender, and captivating first-person narrative of Art Bechstein, whose confusion and heartache echo the tones of literary forebears like The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield and The Great Gatsby's Nick Carraway.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh incontrovertibly established Chabon as a powerful force in contemporary fiction, even before his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay set the literary world spinning.

An unforgettable story of coming of age in America, it is also an essential milestone in the movement of American fiction, from a novelist who has become one of the most important and enduring voices of this generation.

©2005 Michael Chabon (P)2018 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Astonishing.... The voice of a young writer with tremendous skill as he discovers, joyously, just what his words can do." (Alice McDermott, New York Times)

What listeners say about The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

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Profile Image for M. Smetters
  • M. Smetters
  • 26-05-20

Content very dissapointing

The book description is accurate, but the title is misleading. Based on the title, I expected the content to reference some of the stories and mysteries that haunt the city and its history. This was my reason for buying the book.

Other than a few passing references to current locations in Pittsburgh — references that have no direct barring on the story line or of interest to someone unfamiliar with Pittsburgh — the book does not deal with the city at all.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for George S. Pichon Jr.
  • George S. Pichon Jr.
  • 13-04-18

Disappointing

I normally love books from Chabon, and I tried to enjoy this one but I just couldn't. I couldn't help feeling repulsed by the main characters constant retreat into whiny attempts to avoid the reality around him. To the point where he would destroy his own prospects through compulsive lying as a base reaction without considering the situations. I have read books that have flawed characters I have been able to understand and sometimes sympathize with. Art however, I kept finding myself annoyed and wanting to slap across the back of the head and yell wake up you idiot! Not an enjoyable experience, and the ending didn't feel believable given the protagonist's track record up to that point in the novel. I'm sad to say, this is my first Chabon read that I have felt let down by. One positive I can give it, however, is that the narrator gave an excellent performance of the material.

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Profile Image for Kyle Cassidy
  • Kyle Cassidy
  • 27-03-19

Read do not listen.

This is like listening to the Marx brothers read Tolstoy. Bad match for a wonderful book. Not the narrator’s fault, it’s whoever picked him for this assignment.

2 people found this helpful