The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is Michael Chabon’s first book. It is an amazing story of Arthur “Art” Bechstein and the summer after he graduates from college but before he enters the “real world”. He becomes friends with a small group of people. He dates a very interesting girl named Phlox, but also ends up being very attracted to one of his friends. Another friend knows more about his past and family than Art would like anyone to know, and this ends up making everyone’s life really complicated. In the end, everything is so tangled up that he has to make some drastic decisions.
It is an amazing book. I hadn’t read it in years and I had forgotten about what the book was about. I kept looking at it recently and going “I should read something I haven’t read yet.” When I read it, it was like reading it for the first time, which worked out really well. Like most of Chabon’s books Judiasm and homosexuality play major roles in the plot. It is a book about figuring out who you are and what you want to do in spite of what anyone else thinks or wants you to be. This book just reinforces why Michael Chabon is one of my favorite writers.
Sadly, this is yet another book that has been mishandled and adapted into a movie. I haven’t seen it yet, and I don’t plan to either. They take away two of the main characters and elevate a minor character to the female lead. Feel free to watch it, but I know the book is so much better.
Summer Book Challenge: Read a book that you keep looking at and then put down.