Author: Michael Chabon
Read By: Andre Braugher
Audiobook Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Random House Audio
Number of MP3s: 16
Total Duration: 4h13
Total MP3 Size: 232.4 Mb
Encoded At: 128 kbit/s 44 kHz
ID3 Tags: v2.2
Bonus: Includes an afterword read by the author.
Chapter 01 - Introduction - On Discord Arising From the Excessive Love of a Hat
Chapter 02 - On Payment - and Trouble, its Inevitable Gratuity
Chapter 03 - On the Burdens and Cruelties of the Road
Chapter 04 - On the Substitution of One Angel, and One Cause, for Another
Chapter 05 - On the Observance of the Fourth Commandment Among Horse Thieves
Chapter 06 - On Some Peculiarities in the Trading Practices of Northmen
Chapter 07 - On The Seizing of a Low Moment
Chapter 08 - On a Niceness of Moral Discernment Uncommon Among Gentlemen of the Road
Chapter 09 - On Anxieties Arising From the Impermissibility, However Unreasonable, of an Elephant's Rounding Out a Prayer Quorum
Chapter 10 - On the Belated Repayment of the Gift of a Pear
Chapter 11 - On the Unforseen and Annoying Resemblance of A Bek's Life to an Ill-Played Game of Shatranj
Chapter 12 - On a Consignment of Flesh
Chapter 13 - On Swimming to the Library at the Heart of the World
Chapter 14 - On the Melancholy Duty of Soldiers to Contend With the Messes Left by Kings
Chapter 15 - On Following the Road to One's Destiny, with the Ususal Intrusions of Violence and Grace
Chapter 16 - Afterword
Once more mining the rich past, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Michael Chabon summons the rollicking spirit of legendary adventures in this wonderful new novel.
They’re an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa a.d. 950, living as they please and surviving however they can–as blades and thieves for hire and as practiced bamboozlers, cheerfully separating the gullible from their money. They’ve left many a fist shaking in their dust, tasted their share of enemy steel, and made good any number of hasty exits under hostile circumstances.
None of which has necessarily prepared them to be dragooned into service as escorts and defenders to a prince of the Khazar Empire. Usurped by his brutal uncle, the callow and decidedly ill-tempered young royal burns to reclaim his rightful throne. But doing so will demand wicked cunning, outrageous daring, and fool-hardy bravado…not to mention an army. Zelikman and Amram can at least supply the former. But are these gentlemen of the road prepared to become generals in a full-scale revolution? The only certainty is that getting there will be much more than half the fun.
Michael Chabon is the author of the novels The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. His next novel, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, will be published by Harper Collins in May of 2007. He is also the author of two collections of short stories, a #1 bestselling young adult novel, Summerland, and has written a number of screenplays and teleplays. He writes a regular column for Details magazine. Chabon lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Andre Braugher starred in the television series Homicide, for which he received two Television Critics Association awards and an Emmy Award. He won a second Emmy for his role in the series Thief. His notable film roles include Glory, City of Angels, Poseidon, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Siver Surfer. At the 1996 Shakespeare in the Park Festival, Braugher played the title role in Henry V, for which he received an Obie Award.
In his ongoing crusade to reanimate tales of adventure set in days of yore, Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union, 2007, etc.) offers an ebullient yarn that blithely defies probability, while plundering from innumerable semi-literary sources. Originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine (January-May 2007), it's a story that moves from a caravansary in the Caucasus, along the legendary Silk Road traveled by merchants and adventurers, to the royal city Atil, stronghold of the Khazars, but presently occupied by the usurper, Buljan, who had murdered its rightful rulers. We learn all this through the efforts of the eponymous "gentlemen": an Abyssinian soldier of fortune, Amram, and a cadaverous Frankish opportunist, Zelikman, who possesses the skills of an apothecary and the soul of an emotionless killer. Living by their wits (e.g., staging fights to the death and absconding with money wagered by gullible spectators), they encounter a beardless young man, Filaq, who's the only survivor of his family's slaughter by Buljan, and who, after initially mistrusting Zelikman and Amram, enlists them in pursuit of the throne that is rightfully his. Eyebrows will arch at the many twists and turns, (not so surprising) surprises and reversals, as the trio proceed toward Atil, joining forces with an army of (Arsiyah) mercenaries weary from battle with Northern invaders (who appear to be in collusion with the nefarious Buljan), then a family of Jewish (Radanite) traders confident that wholesale slaughter need not interfere with business as usual. Nobody is quite who he seems to be. But the worst villains experience comeuppance, in the gratifying resolution of a complaint voiced by, of all people,Buljan: 'There was no hope for an empire that had lost the will to prosecute the grand and awful business of adventure.' That might be the voice of Chabon addressing his readers. Ridiculously entertaining. If the movie people don't snap this one up, somebody's asleep at the switch.
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